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Former NYPD detective Sonny Grosso dies aged 89

A former NYPD detective whose police work with his partner was used as the plot for the classic film The French Connection, died aged 89 yesterday. 

Sonny Grosso, and his police work with partner Eddie Egan, made the plot of the 1971 thriller The French Connection. 

Mr Grosso even consulted on the five-time Oscar-winning film. 

Sonny Grosso, former NYPD detective whose police work with his partner was used as the plot for the classic film The French Connection (pictured), died aged 89 yesterday

After Mr Grosso's work on The French Connection went well he carried on to become a producer and film consultant in his own right and worked on Kojak (pictured)

His death, which followed a long illness, was confirmed by his former NYPD captain, Ernie Naspretto.  

He was found in Manhattan. 

Mr Naspretto told the New York Post: 'He had a good run.'

After Mr Grosso's work on The French Connection went well he carried on to become a producer and film consultant in his own right and worked on Kojak, Night Heat and Baretta. 

Mr Naspretto also revealed that while Mr Grosso was consulting on The Godfather he lent the actors a prop, his department-issued handgun. 

Mr Grosso and his partner, Eddie Egan, inspired the characters Jimmy 'Popeye' Doyle and Detective Buddy 'Cloudy' Russo in The French Connection (pictured)

He also worked on production sets for Night Heat and Baretta (pictured) 

He said: 'The gun that killed Solazzo and McCluskey in The Godfather, from the toilet, that's Sonny's gun. 

'He carried it to the day he died.'

Mr Grosso was known for helping to take down an organised crime ring in 1961 and seizing 112 pounds of heroin - a record at the time and an amount which would have a current street value of roughly $30million.