Actor in mob film dies at 79
Alex Rocco, the Emmy-winning character actor best known for taking a bullet through the eye as the Las Vegas casino boss Moe Greene in “The Godfather,” has died. He was 79.
Rocco's daughter, Jennifer, announced his death Saturday. Details were not immediately available.
Rocco's career spanned five decades, and he remained active up until his death, including a recurring role on the Starz series “Magic City.” His distinctively gravelly voice made him a frequent tough-guy presence in both hardboiled tales (“The Friends of Eddie Coyle,” ”St. Valentine's Day Massacre,“”Get Shorty“) and comedic sitcoms (”The Simpsons,“”The Facts of Life“).
His most famous role came in 1972's “The Godfather,” where he played the humbled casino owner who meets his fate on a massage table, with a bullet through his thick eyeglass lenses.
His confrontation with Al Pacino's Michael Corleone - in which he condescended to the new boss: “I made my bones when you were going out with cheerleaders!” - was among the movie's many indelible scenes.
“Without a doubt, my biggest ticket anywhere,” Rocco told the AV Club in 2012. “I went for. I dunno, one of the Italian parts. Maybe the Richard Bright part. But Coppola goes, 'I got my Jew!' And I went, 'Oh no, Mr. Coppola, I'm Italian. I wouldn't know how to play a Jew.' And he goes, ' Oh, shut up.”'