PASSINGS: Danny Aiello III, Ruth Nussbaum


Danny Aiello III, stuntman and stunt coordinator

Danny Aiello III, 53, a veteran stuntman and stunt coordinator and a son of the actor Danny Aiello, died Saturday of pancreatic cancer at his home in Hillsdale, N.J., his family said.

The Bronx-born Aiello had scores of credits as a stunt coordinator, including the TV firefighter drama “Rescue Me,” the soap operas “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” and the yet-to-be-released movie “ Sex and the City 2.”


He was the body double for his father in the 1989 Spike Lee movie “Do the Right Thing.” The elder Aiello told Newsday in 1992 that he couldn’t bear to watch his son perform stunts during filming.

“I let him do it,” the Oscar-nominated actor said. “He tells me, ‘Dad, this is what I do, and if you don’t let me have this job, it will go to someone else’s son.’ ”

Aiello also had acting credits and directed his father in the 1999 feature film “18 Shades of Dust,” about a hit man’s last 12 hours. He also directed episodes of the television series “Dellaventura” and “The Untouchables.”

Ruth Nussbaum, leader in Reform Jewish community

Ruth Nussbaum, 98, a leader in the Reform Jewish community and the matriarch of Temple Israel of Hollywood, died April 27 at her Sherman Oaks home of complications from pneumonia, said grandson Gabriel Nussbaum.

Nussbaum, the widow of longtime Temple of Israel Rabbi Max Nussbaum, was one of the founders of the Assn. of Reform Zionists of America and was a co-chairwoman of the women’s division of the United Jewish Welfare Fund.


Born Ruth Offenstadt on Sept. 9, 1911, in Berlin, she married Fritz Toby in 1932 and gave birth to a daughter, Hannah, in 1934. They immigrated to Amsterdam in 1936 but divorced in 1937. For a year, she lived with her daughter in Amsterdam and were neighbors of Anne Frank and her family.

She and Rabbi Nussbaum were married by a judge in Amsterdam in July 1938 and had a religious ceremony in Berlin the next week. They immigrated to the United States in 1940. He became Temple Israel’s rabbi in 1942 and became a major figure in world Zionism. He died in 1974.

— Times staff and wire reports