Home » Tony Lo Bianco, Actor in ‘The French Connection’ and ‘The Seven-Ups,’ Dies at 87

Tony Lo Bianco, Actor in ‘The French Connection’ and ‘The Seven-Ups,’ Dies at 87

by UNN Feed

Tony Lo Bianco, the Brooklyn actor who oozed criminal charm in the gritty 1970s New York City dramas The French Connection and The Seven-Ups, has died. He was 87.

Lo Bianco died Tuesday night of prostate cancer at his horse farm in Poolesville, Maryland, his wife, Alyse, told The Hollywood Reporter.

Lo Bianco was also memorable as a smooth-talking con man with a lonely nurse (Shirley Stoler) for a girlfriend/accomplice in Leonard Kastle’s documentary-style The Honeymoon Killers (1970), which Francois Truffaut once said was his favorite American film.

In another cult classic, the horror thriller God Told Me To (1976), directed by Larry Cohen, Lo Bianco starred as a New York cop who investigates a series of bizarre murders orchestrated by the leader of a religious group (Richard Lynch).

He received a best actor Tony nomination in 1983 for playing Eddie Carbone in a revival of Arthur Miller’s A View From the Bridge, but he was best known on the stage for portraying Fiorello La Guardia, a fellow Italian-American and the popular mayor of New York from 1934-45, in several productions.

In the best picture winner The French Connection (1971), directed by William Friedkin, Lo Bianco was Sal Boca, a flashy guy who as the owner of a modest luncheonette seemed to have a lot of cash on hand. Of course, he was involved in an illegal narcotics operation.

Two years later, Lo Bianco was back in another New York-set crime thriller, The Seven-Ups (1973), appearing again with French Connection co-star Roy Scheider. His character, Vito Lucia, is a crooked undertaker and underworld informant who backstabs his childhood pal, Scheider’s cop, Buddy.

(Philip D’Antoni produced The French Connection and produced and directed The Seven-Ups, the only movie he ever helmed. Both films feature classic car chases.)

One of three sons, Lo Bianco was born in Brooklyn on Oct. 19, 1936. His grandparents were from…

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