When the dead guy was caught snoring in his casket
Frank Vallelonga Jr., whose father's real life journey through the south with concert pianist Don Shirley is told in the movie, "Green Book," talked about his father's "acting" role, that as Carmine Lupertazzi on "The Sopranos."
Vallelonga, a street kid born in the Bronx and moved to Paramus who was a former bouncer at the Copa and took the job of driving Shirley through the south. He later became an actor changing his name to Tony Lipp.
Junior told the story about how his father wanted him to get a speaking part so that he could become a Screen Actors Guild member.
"When my dads character dies, I'm in that scene," he said. "My dad says, 'listen, do me a favor my kids here and I want to get him his SAG card, let him tell ya a couple of lines come up to the casket or whatever. So they did that for him, they said, 'Tony, you're one of the best we've ever had on the show and you've never gave us any problems.' So they did it."
The scene called for Junior to go to the casket his father was in and say a few words but when it came time to deliver his lines, Dad was asleep in the box.
"When my dads character dies...normally if you're an actor and you die, you're gunna get in a casket." Frank said. "You know actors wanna get paid, not too many want to get in a casket...But while he's in the casket, he falls asleep. He's actually snoring in the casket. Vinny Vella who was a dear friend of ours, was in the scene. They didn't really notice it at first, but he grabs him by his crotch to wake him up, it was funny it was crazy."
Tony Lipp died for real in 2013 at the age of 82. You can hear more stories while breaking bread at his sons restaurant.
"You wanna know more about Tony Lipp I have the restaurant in Franklin Lakes. 'Tony Lipps Italian Resturant and Pizza,' in Franklin Lakes. You can come in, I have all sorts pictures we got the poster and the "Shut Up and Eat," the book."
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