Tony Lo Bianco, ‘French Connection’ and ‘Law & Order’ Actor, Dead at 87

Actor Tony Lo Bianco has died. His wife, Alyse, told The Hollywood Reporter that Lo Bianco died on Tuesday, June 11 from prostate cancer at his horse farm in Poolesville, Maryland at 87. Bianco was most known for the 1970s dramas The French Connection and The Seven-Ups, as well as Law & Order.

Lo Bianco was born on Oct. 19, 1936 in Brooklyn, where he boxed in the Golden Gloves tournament and also tried out with the Brooklyn Dodgers. After placing in second in a city-wide declamation contest for students, he studied at The Dramatic Workshop in Manhattan. In 1963, Lo Bianco co-founded the Triangle Theater and was the artistic director for six years. During his time at the theater, he directed and produced several plays.

He also made his onscreen acting debut in 1963 in an episode of The Doctors. He also appeared in The Sex Perils of Paulette, Get Smart, Hawk, N.Y.P.D., and The Honeymoon Killers. In 1971, Lo Bianco starred in the Best Picture winner The French Connection, directed by William Friedkin. He played luncheonette owner Sal Boca, who was involved in an illegal narcotics operation. Two years later, he starred in The Seven-Ups alongside French Connection co-star Roy Schneider. This time around, he played an underworld informant who betrays his childhood friend.

Tony Lo Bianco had recurring roles in Police Story, Jesus of Nazareth, Marco Polo, Jessie, La romana, Murder, She Wrote, The Maharaja's Daughter, and Homicide: Life on the Street. He also appeared in three episodes of Law & Order, playing a different role each time in 1992, 1997, and 2002. Other credits include The Streets of San Francisco, The Last Tenant, Today's F.B.I., Lady Blue, The Twilight Zone, True Blue, Perry Mason: The Case of the Poisoned Pen, The Good Policeman, Walker, Texas Ranger, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and Send No Flowers.

Lo Bianco's final role was in the 2022 sports dramedy Somewhere in Queens alongside Ray Romano, Laurie Metcalf, Jacob Ward, and Sadie Stanley. According to his IMDb, he didn't have any other projects in the works, but that doesn't necessarily mean he wasn't working on anything. Aside from on-screen acting, Lo Bianco played La Guardia in Hizzoner!, which ran on Broadway in 1989 for 12 shows. After reworking Paul Shyre's original script, he took The Little Flower to Italy, Moscow, and other cities across the globe.

Along with his wife of nine years, Tony Lo Bianco is survived by his two kids, Yummy and Nina; his two step-children, Tristan and Lanah; his six grandchildren; and four step-grandchildren. His daughter Ana died in 2006.