Alex Rocco

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Alex Rocco
Alex Rocco at the 1990 Annual Emmy Awards.jpg
Alex Rocco at the 1990 Annual Emmy Awards, September 16.
Born
Alessandro Federico Petricone, Jr.

(1936-02-29)February 29, 1936
DiedJuly 18, 2015(2015-07-18) (aged 79)
OccupationActor
Years active1965–2015
Spouse(s)Grace Petricone
(m. 19??; div. 19??)
Sandra Elaine Garrett
(m. 1966;died 2002)

Shannon Wilcox(m. 2005)
Children4

Alessandro Federico Petricone, Jr. (February 29, 1936 – July 18, 2015), known professionally as Alex Rocco, was an American actor. Often cast as a villain, he is best known for his portrayal of Moe Greene in The Godfather and his Primetime Emmy Award for Supporting Actor in a Comedy for The Famous Teddy Z . He did a significant amount of voice-over work later in his career, and was known for his gravelly voice. [1]

Villain Evil character in a story.

A villain is an evil fictional character, whether based on a historical narrative or one of literary fiction. Random House Unabridged Dictionary defines him or her as "a cruelly malicious person who is involved in or devoted to wickedness or crime; scoundrel; or a character in a play, novel, or the like, who constitutes an important evil agency in the plot". Its structural purpose is to serve as the opposition of the hero character and their motives or evil actions drive a plot along. In contrast to the hero, who is defined by their feats of ingenuity and bravery and their pursuit of justice and the greater good, a villain is often defined by their acts of cruelty, cunning and displays immoral behavior that can oppose or perverse justice. The antonym of a villain is a hero.

Moe Greene fictional character from The Godfather series

Morris "Moe" Greene is a fictional character appearing in Mario Puzo's 1969 novel The Godfather and the 1972 film of the same name. The character's name is a composite of real Las Vegas mobsters Moe Dalitz, or possibly Moe Sedway, and Gus Greenbaum. However, both Greene's character and personality are actually based on Bugsy Siegel: his affiliation with the mob in Los Angeles, his involvement in the development of Las Vegas, and his flamboyant tendencies. Greene is portrayed in the movie by Alex Rocco.

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

The Godfather is a 1972 American crime film directed by Francis Ford Coppola and produced by Albert S. Ruddy, based on Mario Puzo's best-selling novel of the same name. It stars Marlon Brando and Al Pacino as the leaders of a fictional New York crime family. The story, spanning 1945 to 1955, chronicles the family under the patriarch Vito Corleone (Brando), focusing on the transformation of Michael Corleone (Pacino) from reluctant family outsider to ruthless mafia boss.

Contents

Rocco was a member of the Bahá'í Faith.

Early life

Rocco was born as Alessandro Federico Petricone, Jr. [2] in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1936, but raised in nearby Somerville, the son of an Italian immigrant, [3] Mary (née DiBiase; 19091978) and Alessandro Sam Petricone (1896-1949) [4] , a native of Gaeta, Italy. [5] [6]

Cambridge, Massachusetts City in Massachusetts, United States

Cambridge is a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, and part of the Boston metropolitan area.

Somerville, Massachusetts City in Massachusetts, United States

Somerville is a city located directly to the northwest of Boston, in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. As of 2010, the United States Census lists the city with a total population of 75,754 people, making it the most densely populated municipality in New England. As of 2010, it was the 16th most densely populated incorporated municipality in the country. Somerville was established as a town in 1842, when it was separated from Charlestown. In 2006, the city was named the best-run city in Massachusetts by the Boston Globe. In 1972, in 2009, and again in 2015, the city received the All-America City Award. It is home to Tufts University, which has its campus along the Somerville and Medford border.

Gaeta Comune in Lazio, Italy

Gaeta is a city and comune in the province of Latina, in Lazio, central Italy. Set on a promontory stretching towards the Gulf of Gaeta, it is 120 kilometres from Rome and 80 km (50 mi) from Naples.

According to organized crime turncoat Vincent Teresa, Alex was a hanger-on with the Winter Hill Gang of the Boston area. An unwanted advance toward Petricone's then girlfriend on Labor Day, 1961, touched off the Boston Irish Gang War of the 1960s. Georgie McLaughlin, who made the advance, was beaten by Winter Hill Gang members. [7] Howie Carr, a Boston-area journalist and radio personality who has written extensively about the Boston underworld, has written that the young Petricone (whose nickname was "Bobo") was arrested in Charlestown in November 1961 along with Winter Hill boss Buddy McLean for questioning following the death of Bernie McLaughlin of the Charlestown Mob, the first murder of the war. [8] Petricone was released without charge and moved to California in 1962. (When he returned to the Boston area in 1972 to play a bank robber in the film The Friends of Eddie Coyle , Petricone—now using the name "Alex Rocco"—set up a meeting between Robert Mitchum and local Irish-American gangsters to help Mitchum research his part as Eddie Coyle, a low-level Irish-American criminal. Rocco introduced Mitchum to Howie Winter, leader of the Winter Hill Gang. [9] Another Winter Hill Gang member who met with Mitchum was Johnny Martorano, who had murdered Billy O'Brien, a low-level gangster. [10] )

Organized crime groupings of highly centralized criminal enterprises

Organized crime is a category of transnational, national, or local groupings of highly centralized enterprises run by criminals who intend to engage in illegal activity, most commonly for profit. Some criminal organizations, such as terrorist groups, are politically motivated. Sometimes criminal organizations force people to do business with them, such as when a gang extorts money from shopkeepers for "protection". Gangs may become disciplined enough to be considered organized. A criminal organization or gang can also be referred to as a mafia, mob, ring, or syndicate; the network, subculture and community of criminals may be referred to as the underworld. European sociologists define the mafia as a type of organized crime group that specializes in the supply of extra-legal protection and quasi law enforcement. Gambetta's classic work on the Sicilian Mafia generates an economic study of the mafia, which exerts great influence on studies of the Russian Mafia, the Chinese Mafia, Hong Kong Triads and the Japanese Yakuza.

Vincent "Fat Vinnie" Teresa (1930–1990) was an American mobster in the Boston branch of the Patriarca crime family who was a lieutenant of boss Raymond Patriarca.

The Winter Hill Gang is a structured confederation of Boston, Massachusetts–area organized crime figures, who are predominantly of Irish and Italian descent. It derives its name from the Winter Hill neighborhood of Somerville, Massachusetts, north of Boston. Its members have included notorious Boston gangsters Buddy McLean, Whitey Bulger, Howie Winter, Joe McDonald, Johnny Martorano, and Stephen Flemmi. They were most influential from 1965 under the rule of McLean and Winter until the takeover led by Bulger in 1979.

He first worked as a bartender in Santa Monica, California and took acting lessons from actor Leonard Nimoy, a fellow Boston native. Nimoy was not impressed with Rocco's heavy Boston accent and told him to take speech lessons. Rocco followed through with Nimoy's instructions and after ridding himself of the accent came back to study under Nimoy and character actor and teacher Jeff Corey. [ citation needed ]

Bartender person who serves usually alcoholic beverages behind the bar in a licensed establishment

A bartender is a person who formulates and serves alcoholic or soft drink beverages behind the bar, usually in a licensed establishment. Bartenders also usually maintain the supplies and inventory for the bar. A bartender can generally mix classic cocktails such as a Cosmopolitan, Manhattan, Old Fashioned, and Mojito.

Santa Monica, California City in California

Santa Monica is a beachfront city in western Los Angeles County, California, United States. Situated on Santa Monica Bay, it is bordered on three sides by the city of Los Angeles – Pacific Palisades to the north, Brentwood on the northeast, West Los Angeles on the east, Mar Vista on the southeast, and Venice on the south. The Census Bureau population for Santa Monica in 2010 was 89,736.

Leonard Nimoy American actor, film director, poet, musician and photographer

Leonard Simon Nimoy was an American actor, film director, photographer, author, singer, and songwriter. He was known for playing Spock in the Star Trek franchise, a character he portrayed in television and film from a pilot episode shot in late 1964 to his final film performance in 2013.

Career

Rocco played the part of Moe Greene, a Las Vegas casino owner, in the film The Godfather . Greene's character represented the top Jewish mobster in Las Vegas; although he sought an Italian role, director Francis Ford Coppola remarked "I got my Jew!" on seeing Rocco. [1] Other notable films in which Rocco appeared include The Wedding Planner , as Salvatore and (uncredited) Smokin' Aces . In the film That Thing You Do! , Rocco played Sol Siler, the founder of Playtone Records. [ citation needed ]

Francis Ford Coppola 21st-century American film director and producer

Francis Ford Coppola is an American film director, producer, screenwriter and film composer. He was a central figure in the New Hollywood filmmaking movement of the 1960s and 1970s.

<i>The Wedding Planner</i> 2001 film by Adam Shankman

The Wedding Planner is a 2001 romantic comedy film directed by Adam Shankman, written by Michael Ellis and Pamela Falk, and starring Jennifer Lopez and Matthew McConaughey.

<i>Smokin Aces</i> 2006 film by Joe Carnahan

Smokin' Aces is a 2006 action-comedy thriller film written and directed by Joe Carnahan. The film centers on the chase for Las Vegas magician turned mafia informant Buddy "Aces" Israel, on whom a one million dollar bounty is placed. The ensemble cast includes Ryan Reynolds, Ben Affleck, Jason Bateman, Common, Andy García, Alicia Keys, Taraji P. Henson, Ray Liotta, Chris Pine, and Matthew Fox, all co-starring as the various individuals attempting to either capture or protect Israel.

In the fall of 1975, Rocco starred in the role of Pete Karras, a widowed father, writer, and photographer, in a 12-week CBS drama series Three for the Road , with Vincent Van Patten as his older son, John Karras, and Leif Garrett as his younger son, Endy Karras. After the death of their wife and mother, the Karrases sell their house, buy a recreational vehicle, and roam throughout the United States. [11]

CBS is an American English language commercial broadcast television and radio network that is a flagship property of CBS Corporation. The company is headquartered at the CBS Building in New York City with major production facilities and operations in New York City and Los Angeles.

Three for the Road is an American drama series that aired on CBS from September 14 to November 30, 1975. The series follows a recently widowed father and his two sons who in an attempt to assuage their grief, sell their house, procure a recreational vehicle, called the "Zebec", and travel around the United States. The program aired at 7 pm EST Sundays from September 14 to November 30, 1975 opposite The Wonderful World of Disney on NBC and The Swiss Family Robinson on ABC.

Vincent Van Patten is an American actor, former tour professional tennis player, and the commentator for the World Poker Tour.

He played Charlie Polniaczek, Jo's father on The Facts of Life . In 1989, he played Gus Keller in the Corey Feldman and Corey Haim movie Dream a Little Dream . From 198990, Rocco was a regular on the television comedy series The Famous Teddy Z as "Al Floss", a Hollywood talent agent. He received an Emmy Award as Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for this role in 1990. In 1997, he appeared (along with Rodney Dangerfield) in the annual Thanksgiving episode of the ABC sitcom Home Improvement .[ citation needed ]

Rocco also had a recurring part in the long-running animated series The Simpsons as the head of Itchy and Scratchy Studios, Roger Meyers Jr. In DVD commentaries, Rocco expressed true gratitude to The Simpsons' staff for allowing him his first voice-over role. He did further voice work on two early episodes of another Fox sitcom, Family Guy . Rocco did a voiceover on the 1998 Disney/Pixar film A Bug's Life , deeming it his "greatest prize in life" as he was paid $1 million to record eight lines. [1]

In 2008, he starred in Audi's Super Bowl commercial for the Audi R8 supercar. The commercial was inspired by one of the films Rocco was in: The Godfather. He played a rich man who finds the front fascia of his luxury car in his bed, a nod to the scene from the original movie in which Jack Woltz, a rich movie producer, finds the head of his prized racehorse in his bed. [12] He was also featured on the Starz cable channel's crime-drama series, Magic City . [13]

Personal life

After moving to Los Angeles, Rocco became a member of the Bahá'í Faith, [14] and he appeared in a number of productions related to the religion over the years. [15] [16] [17] He also thanked Bahá'u'lláh in his Emmy Award acceptance speech. [18]

His first marriage was to Grace Petricone, and they had one daughter, Maryann. After moving to California, he married Sandra Elaine Rocco (September 1, 1942 – June 12, 2002) [19] on March 24, 1964. He adopted her son, Marc King, who became known as Marc Rocco (June 19, 1962 – May 1, 2009), a film producer, screenwriter, and director. [20] The couple had two children, a daughter Jennifer and a son, Lucien, and one grandson.

Sandra Rocco died of cancer, aged 59. Rocco remarried, to Shannon Wilcox on October 15, 2005. [21]

Alex Rocco died on July 18, 2015 from pancreatic cancer in Studio City, Los Angeles, at the age of 79. [1]

Filmography

Film

YearTitleRoleNotes
1965 Motorpsycho Cory Maddox
1967 The St. Valentine's Day Massacre Diamond
1968 The Boston Strangler Detective at Apartment of Victim #10Uncredited
1970 Blood Mania Lawyer
1971Wild RidersStick
1971 Brute Corps Wicks
1972 The Godfather Moe Greene
1972StanleyRichard Thomkins
1973 Bonnie's Kids Eddy
1973 The Outside Man Miller
1973 Slither Man with Ice Cream
1973 The Friends of Eddie Coyle Jimmy Scalise
1973 Detroit 9000 Lieutenant Danny Bassett
1974 Three the Hard Way Lt. Di Nisco
1974 Freebie and the Bean D.A.
1975 Rafferty and the Gold Dust Twins Vinnie
1975A Woman for All MenLt. Robert Di Biase
1975 Hearts of the West Earl
1977 Fire Sale Al
1978 Rabbit Test Sergeant Danny Bonhoff
1979 Voices Frank Rothman
1980 Herbie Goes Bananas Quinn
1980 The Stunt Man Police Chief Jake
1981 Nobody's Perfekt The Boss
1982 The Entity Jerry Anderson
1984 Cannonball Run II Tony
1985 Stick Firestone
1985 Gotcha! Al
1985 Badge of the Assassin Detective Bill Butler NYPD
1985StiffsPasquale
1987 P.K. and the Kid Les
1987 Return to Horror High Harry Sleerik
1987 Scenes from the Goldmine Nathan DiAngelo
1988 Lady in White Angelo "Al" Scarlatti
1989 Dream a Little Dream Gus Keller
1989 Wired Arnie Fromson
1991 The Pope Must Die Cardinal Rocco
1992 Boris and Natasha: The Movie Sheldon Kaufman
1995The Flight of the DoveBartender
1995 Get Shorty Jimmy CapUncredited
1996 That Thing You Do! Sol Siler
1996Dead of NightBukowski
1997 Just Write Mr. McMurphy
1998 Goodbye Lover Detective Crowley
1998 A Bug's Life ThornyVoice
1999 Dudley Do-Right Kumquat Chief
2000 The Last Producer Poker Player #6
2001 The Wedding Planner Salvatore Fiore
2001Face to FacePhil
2002 The Country Bears Rip Holland
2003 The Job Vernon Cray
2005CrazyloveUncle Cort
2006 Find Me Guilty Nick Calabrese
2006 Jam Mick
2006 Smokin' Aces Serna
2009 Ready or Not Don Julio
2010Now HereMr. Martin
2011 Batman: Year One Carmine Falcone Voice
2011And They're OffSaul Youngerman
2012The House Across the StreetMr. Barnes
2014 Scammerhead Ben Sarnus
2016Silver SkiesFrank
2016Don't SleepMr. Marino(final film role)

Television

YearTitleRoleNotes
1967 Batman BlockEpisodes: "A Piece of Action" and "Batman's Satisfaction"
1970 That Girl Biff1 episode
1971 Mission:Impossible TannerSeason 6 Episode 10 - "Blues"
1972 The F.B.I. Matt Wilnor1 episode
1972 Cannon Hit ManSeason 2, Episode 11 - Hear No Evil
1973 Cannon Walter KoetherSeason 3, Episode 5 - Target in the Mirror
1973 Circle of Fear Joseph Moretti1 episode
1974 The Rookies Earl Fisher1 episode
1975 Cannon PaulSeason 4, Episode 24 - Search and Destroy
1975 Three for the Road Pete Karras14 episodes
1977 Barnaby Jones Harry Stroop1 episode
1977 The Rockford Files Sherman Royle2 episodes
1977 Starsky & Hutch Thomas Callendar2 episodes
1977 The Mary Tyler Moore Show Ben Sylver1 episode: Lou's Army Reunion
1978 The Grass Is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank Ralph Corlisstelefilm with Carol Burnett
1981–1988 The Facts of Life Charlie Polniaczek11 episodes
1980 CHiPs AnsgarEpisodes: "The Great 5K Star Race and Boulder Wrap Party": Part 1 and Part 2
1984 St. Elsewhere RogerEpisode: "Breathless"
1985 The Golden Girls Glen O'BrienEpisode: "That Was No Lady"
1985 The A-Team Sonny MonroeEpisode: "Champ!"
1986 Murder, She Wrote Bert YardleyEpisode: "Christopher Bundy - Died on Sunday"
1987 Rags to Riches Michael Rapp1 episode
1989 Murphy Brown Al Floss1 episode
1989–1990 The Famous Teddy Z Al Floss Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor - Comedy Series
1990 The Simpsons Roger Meyers, Jr. Episode: 3 episodes
1991–1992 Sibs Howie Ruscio23 episodes
1994 The George Carlin Show Harry Rossetti11 episodes
1995 Can't Hurry Love Michael O'DonnellEpisode: "Daddy's Girl"
1996 Pinky and the Brain Floyd NesbitEpisode: "Fly"
1996 Mad About You Mark SlotkinEpisode: "Outbreak"
1996 The Simpsons Roger Meyers, Jr.Episode: "The Day the Violence Died"
1997 Early Edition Barney KadisonEpisode: "Home"
1997 Home Improvement Irv SchmaymanSeason 7, Episode 9 - Thanksgiving
1997 The Simpsons Roger Meyers, Jr.Episode: "The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show"
1998 Michael Hayes Bernero1 episode
1999 Family Law Goodman1 episode
1999 Family Guy Soccer MomEpisode: "Mind Over Murder"
1999 Sabrina The Teenage Witch TV ExecutiveEpisode: "Sabrina's Real World"
2000 Walker, Texas Ranger Johnny "Giovanni Rossini" RoseEpisodes: "Wedding Bells"
2001 Family Guy Bea Arthur Voice
Episode: "Ready, Willing and Disabled"
2001–2004 The Division John Exstead Sr.14 episodes
2005 ER Martin TrudeauEpisode: "Two Ships"
2007 The Wedding Bells Larry HerschfieldEpisode: "The Fantasy"
2010 Party Down Howard GreengoldEpisode: "Constance Carmel Wedding"
2012 Magic City Arthur Evans4 episodes
2012 Private Practice EdEpisode: "Aftershock"
2014–2015 Episodes Dick LeBlanc2 episodes
2015 Maron David RosenEpisode: "Stroke of Luck"

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References

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  2. Obituary, cbsnews.com; accessed July 20, 2015.
  3. Ancestry. "Massachusetts, State and Federal Naturalization Records, 1798-1950" . Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  4. Ancestry. "U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007" . Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  5. "Alex Rocco profile at". FilmReference.com.
  6. Chozick, Amy (March 30, 2012). "Old Miami Beach: Sun, Schmaltz, Murder". The New York Times.
  7. Teresa, Vincent. "My Life in the Mafia."
  8. Carr, Howie. "Alexander (Bobo) Petricone". BostonHitman.com. Retrieved April 13, 2012.
  9. Kimball, George. "Looking Back At An Unlikely Acquaintance With Whitey Bulger". WBUR. Retrieved September 2, 2011.
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  11. "Three for the Road". Internet Movie Data Base . Retrieved March 16, 2011.
  12. Steve Hall. "Audi's Godfather Ad Powerful, Stellar, Captivating". adrants.com. Retrieved July 19, 2015.
  13. "Alex Rocco profile at". Fandango.com. Retrieved July 19, 2015.
  14. Marilyn Beck (September 11, 1975). "Actor Alex Rocco says he's indebted to Bahai teachings". The San Bernardino County Sun. San Bernardino, California. p. 39. Retrieved July 20, 2015.
  15. Alex Rocco (1970s). Introduction to the Baha'i Faith featuring Alex Rocco (Video). National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States.
  16. Doug Cameron, Alex Rocco (1980s). Mona with the Children (Music video).
  17. Devon Grundy, Alex Rocco, Eva La Rue… (2009). Armed (Music video). Justin Baldoni.
  18. Alex Rocco (September 16, 1990). Alex Rocco Emmy acceptance speech (video). emmys.com.
  19. "RootsWeb: Database Index". ancestry.com. Retrieved July 19, 2015.
  20. McLellan, Dennis (May 29, 2009). "Marc Rocco dies at 46; filmmaker directed 'Where the Day Takes You'". Los Angeles Times.
  21. Obituary for Sandra Rocco, uga.edu; accessed July 20, 2015.