Johnny Fratto, frequent Howard Stern guest, dies of cancer
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Johnny Fratto, Hollywood man about town, self-described Mafia guru and a frequent guest on Howard Stern’s radio program, died Thursday of lung cancer. He was 61.
Fratto, who was diagnosed three months ago, died in a Los Angeles hospital with his family by his side, his wife, Jowanka, told The Associated Press.
The dapper Fratto dabbled in several businesses, including film and television. He also owned the custom motorcycle business Beverly Hills Choppers and said he counted numerous celebrities among his friends. Paris Hilton was photographed on a red carpet with one of his motorcycles.
“He was one of a kind for sure,” Fratto’s wife said Thursday. “He made everybody laugh. He was a wonderful father, he was a wonderful partner. It’s just such a huge loss for everybody.”
Fratto was likely best known for his appearances on Stern’s radio program and for his friendship with one of the show’s most popular guests, Eric “The Actor” Lynch, the diminutive, profanity-spouting caller who specialized in insulting Stern.
Lynch, who stood just 3 feet tall, died last year. Fratto met him through the show and eventually became his agent, landing him bit parts in several movies and TV shows.
Fratto’s father, Louis Fratto, was a prominent mob figure in the Midwest from the 1930s until his death in 1967, and his son sometimes hinted he had his own mob connections. Although he identified himself on his Twitter page and elsewhere as a Mafia guru, his wife said that wasn’t true.
“His father was a mobster. Johnny was not,” she said.
Additional survivors include Fratto’s sons, Willie, Joey and Johnny Jr., and his daughters, Alexis and Angela.
Funeral services are pending.