According to his friend Eddie Canlon, Albanese lost his battle with metastatic prostate cancer.
Before pursuing an acting career, Albanese was a heavyweight prizefighter who trained under middleweight champion Rocky Graziano. But after Albanese developed scar tissue on his brain, Graziano helped him get his first film job in The Brotherhood.
Albanese went on to appear in Goodfellas, Dead Presidents and As the World Turns. But it was his role as Tony Soprano's uncle Pat Blundetto on The Sopranos for which Albanese is best known.