Alex Rocco, The Godfather Actor, Dead at Age 79

20 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Alex Rocco, Mobster Moe Greene in ‘The Godfather,’ Dies at 79.

NEW YORK (AP) — The Emmy-winning character actor best known for playing the bespectacled Las Vegas mobster Moe Greene in “The Godfather” has died. Omar Sharif, the Egyptian actor who rode out of the Sahara in the 1962 screen epic “Lawrence of Arabia” into a glamorous, if brief, reign as an international star in films like “Doctor Zhivago” and “The Night of the Generals,” died Friday, July 10, in Cairo.

A legendary Hollywood composer, Horner was been nominated for 10 Academy Awards, winning two for 1997’s best picture, “Titanic.” He composed the film’s score and its enduring theme song, “My Heart Will Go On,” sung by Celine Dion. Rocco, who studied acting with the late Leonard Nimoy, a fellow Boston-area transplant, also was the voice of Roger Meyers Jr., the cigar-smoking chairman of the studio behind “Itchy and Scratchy” on The Simpsons, and he played Arthur Evans, the father of Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s character, on the stylish Starz series Magic City. “For those of us lucky enough to get to know Rocco, we were blessed,” Morgan said in a statement. “He gave the best advice, told the best and dirtiest jokes and was the first to give you a hug and kiss when it was needed. His scores for “Alien,” ”Apollo 13,” ”Field of Dreams,” ”Braveheart,” ”A Beautiful Mind,” ”House of Sand and Fog” and “Avatar” also earned Oscar nods, as did his original song, “Somewhere Out There,” from “An American Tail.” Tirelessly performing his distinct brand of blues during a career spanning nearly 70 years, the Mississippi native and his sidekick “Lucille” — Mr.

King’s signature Gibson electric guitar — earned worldwide acclaim, a, honorary Yale doctorate, two Presidential medals and induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. His scorching guitar licks and heartfelt vocals made him the idol of generations of musicians and fans while earning him the nickname King of the Blues. Born Alexander Federico Petricone in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Rocco moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting, taking classes with Leonard Nimoy (who taught him how to drop his heavy Boston accent) before making his film debut with a small part in 1965’s Motorpsycho.

His career really took off when he landed the role of Moe Greene, and in a 2012 interview with The AV Club, Rocco called The Godfather “my biggest ticket anywhere.” After The Godfather, Rocco went on appear in television shows like Three for the Road, The George Carlin Show, Starsky and Hutch, and Murder, She Wrote, and he regularly appeared on The Facts of Life as the jailed father of Nancy McKeon’s character, Jo. “I think I got the job playing Jo’s dad because my agent at the time had heard about it and told them I’d be perfect for it,” Rocco told EW. “And he was right: I had the same coloring and looks as Nancy McKeon, and she was a tough girl from Westbury, and I was a tough guy from Boston. Rocco won an Emmy Award in 1990 for best supporting actor in a comedy for playing sneaky Hollywood talent agent Al Floss on the short-lived CBS series The Famous Teddy Z, starring Jon Cryer.

Once a charismatic and well-known presence on the televangelist circuit, Schuller faded from view in recent years after watching his church collapse amid a disastrous leadership transition and sharp declines in viewership and donations that ultimately forced the ministry to file for bankruptcy. The soaring, glass-paned Crystal Cathedral — the touchstone of Schuller’s storied ministry — was sold to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange in 2011, and Schuller lost a legal battle the following year to collect more than $5 million from his former ministry for claims of copyright infringement and breach of contract.

Schuller, who preached in a flowing purple robe and outsized aviator glasses, suffered a mild heart attack in 1997 but was quickly back on the pulpit, saying “the positive person” is not afraid of life’s surprises. Photo: Kevork Djansezian, AP The 4-foot-4 actor was hospitalized in critical condition after he was hit by the side mirror of a passing vehicle on an LA-area street. I wouldn’t know how to play a Jew.’ And he goes, ‘Oh, shut up.’ [Laughs.] He says, ‘The Italians do this,’ and he punches his fingers up. ‘And the Jews do this,’ and his hand’s extended, the palm flat. I’ve been playing Jews ever since.” “And people on the golf course will say, ‘Hey, Alex, would you call my dad and leave a line from The Godfather?’ I say, ‘OK. “I buy you out, you don’t buy me out!” “He was bangin’ cocktail waitresses two at a time …” “Don’t you know who I am?” ’ [Laughs.] But I enjoy doing it. Rocco tended bar at the Raincheck Room, a hangout in West Hollywood for actors, and made his movie debut in Motorpsycho! (1965), directed by Russ Meyer.

He later talked himself into a role as a henchman on Batman in the 1967 episodes in which the Dynamic Duo meet up with The Green Hornet and Kato (the chief villain was Roger C. My wife will give me a back hander.” Rocco worked frequently with Alan Arkin, being paired with him on such films as Freebie and the Bean (1974), Hearts of the West (1975), Rafferty and the Gold Dust Twins (1975) and Fire Sale (1977). Valentine’s Day Massacre (1967), The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1973), Joan Rivers’ Rabbit Test (1978), The Stunt Man (1980), Herbie Goes Bananas (1980), The Pope Must Diet (1991), Get Shorty (1995), That Thing You Do! (1996), as Jennifer Lopez’s father in The Wedding Planner (2001), Smokin’ Aces (2006) and Sidney Lumet’s Find Me Guilty (2006).

In addition to his son Sean, survivors include his wife Shannon; another son Lucien; daughters Kelli and Jennifer; grandchildren Anthony, Kiran, Sarame and Ravi; and sister Vivian. “I will miss the Sunday late-afternoon phone calls after his beloved Patriots had stomped my beleaguered Dolphins. ‘Hey buddy.

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