Actor Who Commonly Played Mobsters Was a Real-Life Gambino Family Member



Richard Castellano was an actor who is best remembered for his roles in mobster movies. Born in the Bronx into an Italian Catholic family, Castellano grew up during a time when the Mafia ruled the streets of New York. In 1972, he was cast in the part of Peter Clemenza in The Godfather, which became the highest-grossing film at the time. Castellano, along with several other cast members, became widely known from the popular film. One of Castellano's most memorable lines was, “Leave the gun; take the cannoli,” which it turned out he ad-libbed. What movie-goers may not have known is that Castellano was actually the nephew of Gambino crime family boss Paul Castellano. Richard died of a heart attack in 1988, just three years after his uncle was gunned down while having dinner at a Manhattan steakhouse.