Ancarola, who is of Italian descent, had been the driving force behind popular night time haunts in the city including Ciao Bella, Boom, Pink Elephant and Lavo.
Born in Johannesburg, Ancarola moved to New York in the 80s in pursuit of an acting career and had minor roles in films including ‘Wall Street’ alongside Michael Douglas.
Page Six reported that a group of nightlife players gathered at Bijoux in the city on Thursday night to celebrate his life.
In a post to social media, his sister thanked his friends and family saying that they had decided to take him off life support.
Ancarola had been the driving force behind popular night time haunts in the city including Ciao Bella, Boom, Pink Elephant and Lavo
In recent times, Ancarola became a household name after appearances on Real Housewives of New York City with then girlfriend Sonja Morgan, the couple are seen here
After moving to New York in pursuit of an acting career, he starred alongside Michael Douglas in ‘Wall Street’
The post, seen by Page Six, said: ‘Derek Banton,[his] childhood friend, slept at the hospital with Rocco.
‘[Taking him off life support and] letting Rocco breathe on his own was the most difficult decision my siblings and I had to make.
‘He loved every person who phoned and visited; that kept him alive to fight the cancer.’
Images of Ancarola online show him rubbing shoulders with the likes of his Wall Street costar Michael Douglas, Cuba Gooding JR, and Jordan Belfort.
He previously told Page Six about being invited Belfort’s home to stay for the summer in 1998.
Ancarola told the outlet: ‘I got a call one day from Hampton magazine founder Randy Schindler, and Randy said, “I know this guy who has a big mansion. He just got divorced. Why don’t you stay at his place this summer with all your girls?”‘
He had been running Boom Bistro in Sag Harbor, Long Island, at the time of the call and loaded up a minivan to move out to the mansion.
Ancarola added: ‘Jordan was living the high life, entertaining models and Russian call girls, and all sorts of hangers-on. The party didn’t stop.’
In 2011, he suffered an aortic aneurysm that required him to have open heart surgery, which prompted a fundraiser that brought in over $130,000.
Ancarola had previously spoken about this near death experience in Social Life Magazine.
Ancarola is seen here alongside Jordan Belfort, who he previously said he first met after spending a summer at his mansion in the late 1990s
In 2011, he suffered an aortic aneurysm that required him to have open heart surgery, which prompted a fundraiser that brought in over $130,000, he is seen here with Cuba Gooding Jr
His sister said in a post on social media that her and her siblings made the decision to take him off life support
He said: ‘I came within an inch to dying that Thanksgiving Day on 2011. I was thankfully admitted to one of the best trauma units on the East Coast, at Newark University Hospital and lucky to be operated on by a team of great surgeons.
‘When I came out of my medically induced coma, my doctor told me to thank god. He told me very few people get a second chance in life. And I was lucky enough to be one of the chosen.’
Since his passing on Thursday, tributes have been pouring in on social media for the nightlife guru.
DOM nightclub owner Albert Trummer told DailyMail.com: ‘Rocco dedicated his life and love for hospitality and NYC.
‘He is leaving beautiful memories and the best parties in NYC ever. His warm welcome and big smile will live with us forever. NYC lost one of the greatest nightlife impresario’s and loving friend.’
Ancarola was born in South Africa and was of Italian descent, he moved to New York City in the 1980s
Lavo resident DJ Paolo Vincenti said: ‘If NYC nightlife has a godfather, it’s you. Your GoFundMe was the greatest line-up of music talent in history, so in the end, you did throw the greatest party of all time.’
In a social media post seen by TimesLive, South African Pam Mbatani said: ‘I find it difficult to put into words the depth of the loss I’m feeling. Rocco wasn’t just a friend, he was a brother, a mentor, an uncle to my daughter Aria and a beacon of joy.
‘From the moment we met [in New York] Rocco embraced me as his ‘little sister from South Africa‘.
Friend Inna DeSilva told Page Six: ‘He was the greatest host on the planet. ‘[It’s] very difficult to find anyone else on that level.’