‘The Godfather’ star Alex Rocco dies at 79

Actor Alex Rocco passes away of cancer at age of 79

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Actor Alex Rocco, best known for his role in crime drama “The Godfather,” has died of cancer at the age of 79.

Daughter Jennifer Rocco posted the news on her Facebook page late Saturday night.

She wrote "Alex Rocco, a.k.a. Alessandro Federico Petricone, Jr., passed away just hours ago on July 18, 2015,. February 29, 1936 - July 18, 2015 RIP. Dad, be with Mom and Marc....I will see you but not for a while...."

Rocco played Moe Greene, the casino boss in “The Godfather.” At an interview he described his role as casino boss Moe Greene in “The Godfather” as "without a doubt, my biggest ticket anywhere."

In a career spanning half a century in film and television, he acted in the Starz series “Magic City.” He also played Charlie Polniaczek on the 1980s sitcom “The Facts of Life” and appeared in films such as “The Friends of Eddie Coyle,” “St Valentine's Day Massacre” and “Get Shorty.”

Rocco's amazing voice could also be heard in “Family Guy” and the 1998 animated feature “Bug's Life,” where he voiced Thorny. He also voiced “Itchy and Scratchy Studios,” Roger Meyers Jr. in “The Simpsons.”

He won an Emmy for best supporting actor in a comedy series in 1990 for playing Jon Cryer in the sitcom, “The Famous Teddy Z.”

Rocco was born as Alexander Federico Petricone in 1936 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the US.

According to a US organised crime informant, Rocco was a young member of the Boston area's Winter Hill Gang. e was arrested but not charged, over a gang-related killing, he moved to California to work as a bartender.

After arriving in Los Angeles, he studied acting under “Star Trek” actor Leonard Nimoy and made his debut in cult director Russ Meyer's 1965 film “Motor Psycho.”

Rocco is survived by his wife, actress Shannon Wilcox, his daughter Jennifer, son Lucien and a grandson.

TRTWorld and agencies