Fans of Francis Ford Coppola's "The Godfather Part II" might remember Gastone Moschin as Don Fanucci, the "dapper crime boss" gunned down by Vito Corleone in the film. The New York Times reported that the beloved Italian character actor passed away on September 4 in Terni, in central Italy. He was 88.
According to his daughter, Emanuela Moschin, the cause of death was kidney failure.
Moschin was born on June 8, 1929, in San Giovanni Lupatoto, a town in the province of Verona, Italy. He knew that he wanted to be an actor, so studied theater at two of Italy's top drama programs: the Piccolo Teatro di Milano and the Accademia Nazionale d’Arte Drammatica Silvio D’Amico.
Before beginning his acting career, he completed compulsory military service. Moschin’s career began with his roles in Italian cinema in the mid-1950s before transitioning to his most famous role.
"He appeared in dozens of films by Italian directors, among them Bernardo Bertolucci and Mario Monicelli," wrote the New York Times.
In 1974, he played his biggest role, Don Fanucci. His gangster character was "an indelible part of a beloved film." The film would go on to win six Academy Awards.
"In the film, Fanucci extracts tribute from seemingly everyone in Little Italy in Manhattan, including a young Vito Corleone, played by Robert De Niro," related the article. "Corleone grudgingly pays Fanucci, then stalks him as Fanucci makes his way through the annual San Gennaro street festival."
De Niro's Corleone eventually finds Fanucci outside his apartment, and he shoots him through a towel. In the background, the noise from fireworks disguises the noise.
'The murder is the first major power play in Corleone’s rise to the top of a Mafia syndicate," explained the Times.
Moschin is survived by his wife, the Italian actress Marzia Ubaldi, their daughter, and two granddaughters. Pray for their family as they deal with the loss of a beloved husband, father, and grandfather.
In other Godfather news, Robert De Niro just bashed President Trump.