Robert "Bobby" Spillane, an actor who had roles on television's "Rescue Me" and "Law & Order," fell from his Midtown Manhattan apartment in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood near Times Square where his father, not to be confused with the pulp fiction writer of the same name, had run rackets back in the 1960s and 1970s.
No criminality was suspected in Bobby Spillane's death.
Jim McManus, Spillane's uncle and a longtime neighborhood power broker, called Spillane's death a "terribly sad accident."
"He was the nicest kid in the world," said McManus, who is a district leader of the McManus Midtown Democratic Association, a political club. "He helped everyone."
Spillane, with one arm in a sling, had leaned on the screen of an open window to call out to his brother, Michael, who was on a street below, McManus said. The screen collapsed and Bobby Spillane fell, McManus said the brother told him.
"The screen gave out," McManus said. "He only had one arm and he went out with the screen."
The New York Police Department could not confirm that Spillane fell through a window after a screen collapsed. Officers and medics responded to a call on Eighth Avenue in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood about 7:45 a.m. Spillane was pronounced dead at the scene.
Spillane's father, who was revered as the "gentleman gangster," was gunned down in 1977 by the rival "Westies," the Hell's Kitchen Irish mob.
In an article about his funeral published in The New York Times, Spillane was described by a detective as "a very strong enforcer, a handsome, black-haired tough guy out of the movies."
He was often asked, even by law enforcement, if he had any relation to the crime writer of the same name.
Bobby Spillane never moved far from his family's roots in the old neighborhood near the Broadway theater district.
A few years back, Spillane drew on the lore from his father's time to write an Off-Broadway play called "All Dolled Up" about a cross-dressing gangster in the 1960s.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Mickey Spillane refered to in this article is not related to the author, Frank Morrison Spillane, who authored under the name Mickey Spillane. He died in 2006.