“Everybody Hates Chris” actor Johnny Palermo died in a car crash in North Hollywood on Monday.
The 27-year-old Rochester, New York, native appeared in more than 30 television shows over a brief career, including the Nickelodeon series “Just for Kicks.” He was killed in an early morning accident that also took the life of his girlfriend, Alessandra Giangrande, 25, who was driving the car, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Palermo’s hometown newspaper, the Rochester Democrat, reported Thursday (June 11) that Giangrande was driving the car around 2:15 a.m. when she lost control of the vehicle and struck several parking meters, a light pole and a building. The couple were pronounced dead at the scene, while Giangrande’s brother, a passenger in the car, suffered serious injuries but is expected to live.
Palermo starred in three episodes of “Everybody Hates Chris” — based on the childhood of show producer Chris Rock — as Chris’ classmate Frank DiPaolo.
In addition to his work in 2006 on “Chris” and “Kicks,” Palermo appeared in episodes of dozens of other shows, including “Cold Case,” “General Hospital,” “Passions,” “CSI: Miami,” “Rules of Engagement,” “How I Met Your Mother” and “ER.” He can be seen as a young Don Vito in the indie comedy “Pizza With Bullets” this fall, which also stars “Rocky” actress Talia Shire and Vincent Pastore of “The Sopranos.”
According to the Democrat, Palermo played football on the Webster High School team that won a state championship in 1999, and he attended the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, where he studied special-effects movie makeup. His father, John Palermo, told the paper, “To see it end so tragically just breaks your heart. I’m just in awe. He still had so much to do; a ball of fire with a life to live.”
Palermo moved to Los Angeles in 2002 to pursue acting, and though he scored frequent TV work, his family said he was also a bartender and harbored dreams of breaking into the film industry.