Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Alex Rocco Passes On

Alex Rocco, who played Moe Greene in The Godfather (1972), died on July 18 2015 at the age of 79. The cause was cancer.

Alex Rocco was born Alessandro Petricone, Jr. in Cambridge, Massachusetts, but spent most of his childhood in the town of  Somerville, Massachusetts. He dropped out of high school and moved to Boston for a time before moving to California where he took acting classes. He made his film debut in Motorpsycho! in 1965. He made his television debut in an episode of Run for Your Life in 1927. In the late Sixties Mr. Rocco appeared on the shows Batman, Get Smart, and That Girl. He appeared in the films The St. Valentine's Day Massacre (1967), The Boston Strangler (1968), and Blood Mania (1970).

In the Seventies Alex Rocco was a regular on the short-lived series Three for the Road. He appeared on such TV shows as The F.B.I., Mission: Impossible, The Rookies, Get Christie Love!, Barnaby Jones, Kojak, Cannon, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Rockford Files, Baretta, Starsky & Hutch, and CHiPs. He appeared in such films as Wild Riders (1971), The Godfather (1972), Stanley (1972), Slither (1973), The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1973), Detroit 9000 (1973), Three the Hard Way (1974), Freebie and the Bean (1974). Hearts of the West (1975), Rabbit Test (1978), and Herbie Goes Bananas (1980).

In the Eighties Alex Rocco had a regular role on the TV show The Famous Teddy Z and a recurring role on The Facts of Life. He appeared on such TV shows as Matt Houston, Hardcastle and McCormick, St. Elsewhere, The Love Boat, The A-Team The Golden Girls, T.J. Hooker, Hunter, Murphy Brown, and Carol & Company. He appeared in the films Nobody's Perfekt (1981), The Entity (1982), Scenes from the Goldmine (1987), Dream a Little Dream (1989), and Wired (1989).

In the Nineties Alex Rocco was a regular on the TV shows Sibs and The George Carlin Show. He appeared on such TV shows as Midnight Caller, Daddy Dearest, Hope & Gloria, The Simpsons, Home Improvement, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, The Practice, and Walker, Texas Ranger. He appeared in such films as The Pope Must Diet (1991), The Flight of the Dove (1994), Get Shorty (1995), Dead of Night (1996), That Thing You Do! (1996), A Bug's Life (1998), Dudley Do-Right (1999), and The Last Producer (2000).

In the Naughts and the Teens Alex Rocco was a regular on the shows The Division and Magic City. He appeared in such shows as Touched by an Angel, ER, Private Practice, and Maron. He appeared in such films as The Wedding Planner (2001), The Country Bears (2002), The Job (2003), Crazylove (2005), Smokin' Aces (2006), Blackbird (2011), and The House Across the Street (2013).

Alex Rocco was a very talented actor. He is perhaps best known for playing various gangsters, convicts, and other tough guys over the years. That having been said, that wasn't the limit of his ability and he did play other sorts of parts. In fact, he did play parts on the other side of law, appearing as police officers and F.B.I. agents. Mr. Rocco occasionally played other roles as well, including lawyers and doctors. Alex Rocco may have played many gangsters over the years, but his talent allowed him to play much more.

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