Alex Rocco

Active - 1965 - 2015  |   Born - Feb 29, 1936 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States  |   Died - Jul 18, 2015 in Studio City, CA  |   Genres - Comedy, Crime, Drama, Action

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In films from 1965, American actor Alex Rocco specialized in tough-guy roles, sometimes leavening his hard-bitten portrayals with a dash of roguish humor. Rocco's film assignments included such parts as gangster Legs Diamond in St. Valentine's Day Massacre (1967) and Moe Greene in The Godfather (1974). He has been a regular or semi-regular on a number of television shows, beginning with 1975's Three for the Road, in which he starred as free-lance photographer (and full-time family man) Pete Karras. Alex Rocco has since been seen in such TVers as The Facts of Life as Mr. Polniaczek, Sibs as Howie Roscio, The Famous Teddy Z as Al Floss, and The George Carlin Show as Harry Rossetti. He played the father of Jennifer Lopez's character in The Wedding Planner (2001) and was a recurring character on the short-lived series Magic City (2012-13). Rocco died in 2015, at age 79.

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Factsheet

  • Once dreamed of being "the youngest bookie ever" and flirted with a criminal lifestyle before finding success as an actor; flipped a coin to decide where to go to take up acting, and California won.
  • First on-screen role was as a crook in a 1967 episode of the Batman TV series.
  • Breakthrough role was as gangster Moe Green in 1972's The Godfather.
  • Studied acting with fellow Boston native Leonard Nimoy, who advised him to take speech lessons to rid himself of his Boston accent.
  • Upon getting a gig on the 2012 TV crime drama Magic City, said his role on the series as a mob-connected businessman struck him as having been "close to my own story."