Goodfellas counted on the talents of a lot of well-known names in the film industry, but it also featured some who weren’t exactly experienced actors and acting was a side thing for them, and one of them has a surprising connection with Michael Jackson through one of his other jobs. Martin Scorsese is best known for his gangster movies, and the one that is widely considered not only as his best in this genre but in general is Goodfellas, released in 1990 and based on the book Wiseguy, by Nicholas Pileggi.
Goodfellas tells the true story of Henry Hill (Ray Liotta), an associate of the Lucchese crime family, from his days as a teenager running errands for Paul Cicero (Paul Sorvino) to his full involvement with his crew and later his decision to become an FBI informant and enter the witness protection program. During his time with the mob, Henry met many of the most notable gangsters at the time and became close to those in Paulie’s crew, among them Paulie’s brother, Tuddy Cicero, who was played by Frank Michael DiLeo, who in addition to his acting career was also a music industry executive, and was Michael Jackson’s manager.
What Happened To Frank Michael DiLeo After Goodfellas?
Frank DiLeo’s career in the music industry began in the 1960s, and in the 1980s, he began working for Epic Records and was key in taking the company from the number 14 label in the U.S. market to number two. Following the success of the legendary album Thriller, in 1984, Michael Jackson asked DiLeo to take over as his manager, and during that time, DiLeo executive produced the movie Moonwalker, wrote and executive produced three Pepsi-Cola commercials and eight music videos and managed the Bad World Tour and the Jackson family’s Victory Tour. Martin Scorsese met DiLeo during the filming of the short film Bad, which was later edited to become the music video for Michael Jackson’s song, but they didn’t join forces until a couple of years later.
DiLeo wasn’t Michael Jackson’s manager anymore by the time he played Tuddy Cicero in Goodfellas, as Jackson accused him of tampering with money in 1989, so they stopped working together – however, DiLeo partnered up with Jackson again in 2009 for the King of Pop’s This Is It concert series. After Goodfellas, DiLeo appeared in Wayne’s World and Wayne’s World 2 as Frankie “Mr. Big” Sharp and in Kiss of Death as Big Junior’s friend. DiLeo passed away in 2011 after complications following heart surgery.
Was Goodfellas’ Tuddy Cicero Based On A Real Person?
Most of the characters in Goodfellas are based on real-life people, but Scorsese and company changed the names of most of them. In Goodfellas, the audience met Tuddy Cicero, Paulie’s brother, whose most memorable scenes are when he calls out a young Henry for wasting a bunch of white aprons while attending to an injured guy that arrives at Paulie’s restaurant, and he’s the one who pulls the trigger when Tommy DeVito (Joe Pesci) is killed near the end of the movie. Tuddy Cicero was based on Vito “Tuddy” Vario, Paul Vario’s youngest brother, of whom very little is known, but he took over as acting boss of the Vario crew after Paulie’s arrest in 1980.