Al Lettieri

Last updated
Al Lettieri
Virgil Sollozo.png
Lettieri as Virgil Sollozzo in The Godfather
Born
Alfredo Lettieri [1]

(1928-02-24)February 24, 1928
DiedOctober 18, 1975(1975-10-18) (aged 47)
New York City, U.S.
OccupationActor
Years active1958–1975

Alfredo Lettieri (February 24, 1928 – October 18, 1975) was an Italian-American actor and screenwriter. During his career, he acted with some of Hollywood's biggest screen stars, including Steve McQueen in The Getaway , [2] Charles Bronson in Mr. Majestyk , [3] John Wayne in McQ , [2] Richard Harris in The Deadly Trackers , Michael Caine and Mickey Rooney in Pulp , and Marlon Brando and Al Pacino in The Godfather . [2] In most of those roles, he was cast as a villain and was sometimes credited as Anthony Lettieri. [4]

Contents

Background

Lettieri was an Italian-American who spoke Italian fluently. His brother-in-law was Pasquale Eboli, brother of Genovese crime family boss Thomas Eboli. [5] Married and divorced once, Lettieri died of a heart attack in 1975, at the age of 47, leaving behind two children.

Career

1950s to 1960s

Lettieri had a role in the 1958 Perry Mason episode "The Case of the Fugitive Nurse" as Arthur Strome. [6] At the age of 36, he had a role in the television film The Hanged Man (1964). [7]

1970s

Lettieri is best known for his role as Sicilian heroin trafficker Virgil Sollozzo in the 1972 American crime film The Godfather. This was the second film in which he and Marlon Brando had worked together, the first being The Night of the Following Day (1969).

He wrote the film adaptation that became the screenplay for the 1971 gangster movie Villain , which starred Richard Burton and Ian McShane. [8] [9] Lettieri played the henchman, Rudy Butler, in Steve McQueen's 1972 action film, The Getaway, and the menacing hit-man Frank Renda in the 1974 Charles Bronson film, Mr. Majestyk. [10] He played the part of Ciro Musante in the Tonino Valerii-directed 1976 film, Go Gorilla Go . [11]

Filmography

YearTitleRoleNotes
1964 The Hanged Man AlTV movie
1965 Wild Seed (Fargo)Bartender(as Anthony Lettier)
1965 Dark Intruder (Black Cloak)2nd SergeantTV film, (as Anthony Lettier)
1966 After the Fox (as Anthony Lettier)
1967 The Bobo Eugenio Gomez
1969 The Night of the Following Day Pilot aka Al(as Al Lettier, though is also listed on the credita as Alfredo Letteri, associate producer)
1971 A Town Called Bastard La Bomba
1972 The Godfather Virgil "The Turk" Sollozzo
1972 Pulp Miller
1972FootstepsZimmermanTV film
1972 The Getaway Rudy Butler
1973 The Don Is Dead (Beautiful But Deadly, The Deadly Kiss)Vince Fargo
1973 The Deadly Trackers Gutierrez, Mexican Policeman
1974 McQ Manny Santiago
1974 Mr. Majestyk Frank Renda
1975 Piedone a Hong Kong (aka Flatfoot Goes East, Flatfoot in Hong Kong)Frank Barella
1975Winner Take All ("Time Lock")Man at TrackTV series
1976Dublin Murders
1976 Vai Gorilla (Go Gorilla Go)Ciro Musante
1976 House of Pleasure for Women Eddie Mordace(final film role)

Related Research Articles

Marlon Brando American actor, film director and activist (1924-2004)

Marlon Brando Jr. was an American actor and film director with a career spanning 60 years, during which he won the Oscar for Best Actor twice. He is well-regarded for his cultural influence on 20th-century film. Brando was also an activist for many causes, notably the civil rights movement and various Native American movements. Having studied with Stella Adler in the 1940s, he is credited with being one of the first actors to bring the Stanislavski system of acting and method acting, derived from the Stanislavski system, to mainstream audiences.

<i>On the Waterfront</i> 1954 film by Elia Kazan

On the Waterfront is a 1954 American crime drama film, directed by Elia Kazan and written by Budd Schulberg. It stars Marlon Brando and features Karl Malden, Lee J. Cobb, Rod Steiger, Pat Henning, and Eva Marie Saint in her film debut. The musical score was composed by Leonard Bernstein. The film was suggested by "Crime on the Waterfront" by Malcolm Johnson, a series of articles published in November–December 1948 in the New York Sun which won the 1949 Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting, but the screenplay by Budd Schulberg is directly based on his own original story. The film focuses on union violence and corruption amongst longshoremen, while detailing widespread corruption, extortion, and racketeering on the waterfronts of Hoboken, New Jersey.

<i>The Godfather</i> (novel) 1969 novel by Mario Puzo

The Godfather is a crime novel by American author Mario Puzo. Originally published in 1969 by G. P. Putnam's Sons, the novel details the story of a fictional Mafia family in New York City, headed by Vito Corleone. Puzo's dedication for The Godfather is "For Anthony Cleri". The novel's epigraph is by the French author Honoré de Balzac: "Behind every great fortune there is a crime." The novel covers the years 1945 to 1955 and provides the back story of Vito Corleone from early childhood to adulthood.

<i>One-Eyed Jacks</i> 1961 American Western film by Marlon Brando

One-Eyed Jacks is a 1961 American Technicolor Western film starring and directed by Marlon Brando; it was the only film he directed. It was originally planned to be directed by Stanley Kubrick from a screenplay by Sam Peckinpah, but studio disputes led to their replacement by Brando and Guy Trosper. Brando portrays the lead character Rio, and Karl Malden plays his partner, "Dad" Longworth. The supporting cast features Pina Pellicer, Katy Jurado, Ben Johnson and Slim Pickens. In 2018, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress.

<i>The Getaway</i> (1972 film) 1972 film by Sam Peckinpah

The Getaway is a 1972 American action thriller film based on the 1958 novel by Jim Thompson. The film was directed by Sam Peckinpah, written by Walter Hill, and stars Steve McQueen, Ali MacGraw, Ben Johnson, Al Lettieri, and Sally Struthers. The plot follows imprisoned mastermind robber Carter "Doc" McCoy (McQueen), whose wife Carol (MacGraw) conspires for his release on the condition they rob a bank in Texas. A double-cross follows the crime and the McCoys are forced to flee for Mexico with the police and criminals in hot pursuit.

<i>Mr. Majestyk</i> 1974 film by Richard Fleischer

Mr. Majestyk is a 1974 American action film directed by Richard Fleischer and written by Elmore Leonard. Charles Bronson stars as the title character, a melon farmer and Vietnam War veteran who comes into conflict with gangsters. Leonard, who wrote the film with an original screenplay, took the name Majestyk from a character in his 1969 crime novel The Big Bounce. He would also write the novelization of the film.

Lenny Montana American professional wrestler and actor

Lenny Montana was an American actor who played the role of feared hitman Luca Brasi in The Godfather. Prior to becoming an actor, he had a successful career as a professional wrestler as well as an enforcer for the Colombo family.

<i>The Godfather</i> 1972 film directed by Francis Ford Coppola

The Godfather is a 1972 American crime film directed by Francis Ford Coppola who co-wrote the screenplay with Mario Puzo, based on Puzo's best-selling 1969 novel of the same name. The film stars Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Richard Castellano, Robert Duvall, Sterling Hayden, John Marley, Richard Conte, and Diane Keaton. It is the first installment in The Godfather trilogy. The story, spanning from 1945 to 1955, chronicles the Corleone family under patriarch Vito Corleone (Brando), focusing on the transformation of one of his sons, Michael Corleone (Pacino), from reluctant family outsider to ruthless mafia boss.

<i>Julius Caesar</i> (1953 film)

Julius Caesar is a 1953 epic Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film adaptation of the play by Shakespeare, directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, who also wrote the uncredited screenplay, and produced by John Houseman. The original music score is by Miklós Rózsa. The film stars Marlon Brando as Mark Antony, James Mason as Brutus, John Gielgud as Cassius, Louis Calhern as Julius Caesar, Edmond O'Brien as Casca, Greer Garson as Calpurnia, and Deborah Kerr as Portia.

<i>The Night of the Following Day</i>

The Night of the Following Day is a 1969 American Technicolor crime film directed by Hubert Cornfield starring Marlon Brando, Richard Boone, Rita Moreno and Pamela Franklin. Filmed in France, around Le Touquet it tells the story of a kidnapped heiress being held hostage in a remote beachhouse on the coast of France.

Richard Bright (actor) American actor

Richard James Bright was an American actor, well known for his role as Al Neri in the Godfather films.

<i>Burn!</i> (1969 film) 1969 film by Gillo Pontecorvo

Burn! is a 1969 Italian war drama film directed by Gillo Pontecorvo and starring Marlon Brando, Evaristo Márquez and Renato Salvatori. The music was composed by Ennio Morricone. The fictional story focuses on the creation of a tropical republic in the Caribbean, and the events that follow it. Brando plays a British secret government agent, named after the American filibuster William Walker, who manipulates a slave revolt to serve the interests of empire and the sugar trade. The screenwriters also drew on the intelligence agent Edward Lansdale, who served the United States government in the Philippines and Indochina in the 1950s through 60s.

<i>The Freshman</i> (1990 film)

The Freshman is a 1990 American crime comedy film written and directed by Andrew Bergman, starring Marlon Brando, Matthew Broderick, Bruno Kirby, Penelope Ann Miller, and Frank Whaley. The plot revolves around a young New York film student's entanglement in an illicit business of offering exotic and endangered animals as specialty food items, including his being tasked with delivering a Komodo dragon for this purpose.

<i>Mutiny on the Bounty</i> (1962 film) 1962 film by Carol Reed, Lewis Milestone

Mutiny on the Bounty is a 1962 American Technicolor epic historical drama film released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, directed by Lewis Milestone and starring Marlon Brando, Trevor Howard and Richard Harris. The screenplay was written by Charles Lederer, based on the novel Mutiny on the Bounty by Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall. Bronisław Kaper composed the score.

Carmela Corleone Fictional character from The Godfather series

Carmela Corleone (1897–1959) a fictional character in Mario Puzo's 1969 novel The Godfather, is the wife of Don Vito Corleone. Carmela is portrayed by Italian-American Morgana King in Francis Ford Coppola's 1972 film adaptation of the novel, and in The Godfather Part II (1974).

See also: 1971 in organized crime, other events of 1972, 1973 in organized crime and the list of 'years in Organized Crime'.

<i>The Chase</i> (1966 film)

The Chase is a 1966 American neo noir drama film in Panavision directed by Arthur Penn and starring Marlon Brando, Jane Fonda, and Robert Redford, about a series of events set into motion by a prison break. Because one of the two escapees is Charlie "Bubber" Reeves (Redford), wrongly assumed to be responsible for a murder, the escape causes a stir in a nearby town full of drunks where Bubber is a well-known figure. The supporting cast features E. G. Marshall, Angie Dickinson, Janice Rule, Miriam Hopkins, Martha Hyer, Robert Duvall and James Fox.

<i>The Valachi Papers</i> (film) 1972 film by Terence Young

The Valachi Papers is a 1972 action crime drama neo noir directed by Terence Young, produced by Dino De Laurentiis, and distributed by Columbia Pictures. It is an adaptation of the non-fiction book of the same name by Peter Maas, with a screenplay by Stephen Geller. It tells the story of Joseph Valachi, a Mafia informant in the early 1960s who was the first ever mafioso to acknowledge the organization's existence. The film stars Charles Bronson as Valachi and Lino Ventura as crime boss Vito Genovese, with Jill Ireland, Walter Chiari, Joseph Wiseman, Gerald S. O'Loughlin, Guido Leontini, Amedeo Nazzari, Fausto Tozzi, Pupella Maggio, and Angelo Infanti.

Evaristo Márquez

Evaristo Márquez, was an Afro-Colombian actor and herdsman best known for his role as José Dolores in the film Burn!, acting alongside Marlon Brando under the direction of Gillo Pontecorvo.

<i>Go Gorilla Go</i>

Go Gorilla Go is a 1975 Italian poliziottesco film directed by Tonino Valerii.

References

  1. "Person Details for Alfredo Lettieri, "U.S. Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014" — ancestry.com".
  2. 1 2 3 "Notes on Lettieri". The Sumter Daily Item . September 25, 1973. Retrieved September 21, 2012.
  3. "'Mr. Majestyk' is more violence, more sexism". The Miami News . August 8, 1974. Retrieved September 21, 2012.
  4. Al Lettieri at IMDb
  5. "Meadow Soprano on Line One!" by Mark Seal, Vanity Fair , 26 February 2009
  6. Aveleyman.com - Al Lettieri
  7. AllMovie - The Hanged Man (1964)
  8. EMI Films and the Limits of British Cinema, By Paul Moody - Page 112
  9. Rotten Tomatoes - Villain (1971)
  10. Screen Anarchy, July 18 2018 - 70s Rewind: MR. MAJESTYK, Melons, Migrants and Murder - Peter Martin
  11. Rotten Tomatoes - The Hired Gun (Vai Gorilla) (Go Gorilla Go), Cast