Longtime MNN producer Vinny Vella died in February after a long battle with cancer. He was 72. Vinny hosted hundreds of episodes of his MNN series “Tell It Like It Is”between 2007 and 2018. A true raconteur, bon vivant, and man about town, Vinny was born on Bleecker Street and was a lifelong resident of Little Italy After a one-line speaking role in “The French Connection” (1971) he went on to receive over 70 acting credits. He worked with directors such as Sidney Lumet, Jim Jarmusch, and Martin Scorsese. He is also remembered for his portrayal of Jimmy Petrille on HBO’s “The Sopranos”. Vinny appeared with longtime friend Robert De Niro in Scorsese’s “Casino” (1995), considered by many to be Scorsese’s best film. Vinny and De Niro (who was best man at Vinny’s wedding) will be featured in the long anticipated Martin Scorsese biopic of Jimmy Hoffa, “The Irishman” with Al Pacino.
MNN will be airing a one-hour tribute to Vinny on Monday, May 6th at 7pm on MNN 2 (Spectrum 56 & 1996, FIOS 34) Stream live on https://www.mnn.org/live/2-lifestyle-channel.The program features Vinny’s friends, fellow actors, and associates celebrating his long and storied life, with performances by The Acchords, singing Vinny’s favorite music style: vocal harmonies.
You can watch “The Vinny Vella” Tribute premiering on Monday May 6th on MNN 2 at 7PM.