Rocco, a first generation Italian, was born Alessandro Federico Petricone, in Cambridge, Massachusetts; across from Harvard University, where he was later given the prestigious Harvard Lampoon Award. Wanting to avert the corner and the lure of a life of crime, he flipped a coin between Miami and Los Angeles. It was the early 60's. LA won the toss. He tended bar at the Rain Check Room. It was a hangout for actors. Ironically, though not into the acting scene, he stole his first job, Batman, and has been playing gangsters, cops and tough guys ever since. His most notable role was Moe Greene, a Las Vegas casino owner, who takes a bullet in the eye, in The Godfather. Nick Calabrese, in Sydney Lumet's Find Me Guilty, earned him reviews that applauded his gravitas and described him as deadly as a cobra.
Some of his earlier films include: The Stunt Man, The Friends of Eddie Coyle, Lady in White, and Voices. With a flair for comedy, he did Freebie and The Bean, Herbie Goes Bananas, Cannonball Run II, The Pope Must Die, Get Shorty, That Thing You Do, and The Wedding Planner, where he played Jennifer Lopez 's father. The most fun he's had acting, was playing a slick, smarmy agent in The Famous Teddy Z. He won an Emmy for his ferociously funny performance. Some of his other television series were: The Fact of Life, Three for The Road, The George Carlin Show, and The Division. He's also done 400 TV guest appearances. His distinctive voice landed him ‘Roger Myers Jr.', owner of Itchy and Scratchy, on The Simpsons and ‘Thorny' the ant, in A Bug's Life.
It seems the coin toss has done alright by him. Now if it could only help him pick a horse at Santa Anita.
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Alex Rocco Facts
|Alexander Federico Petricone Jr.
|February 29, 1936 (87)
|Boston, Massachusetts, USA
|A Bug's Life
|A Bronx Tale
|Batman: Year One
|That Thing You Do!: Tom Hank's Extended Cut