Alex Rocco has died at the age of 79. Rocco’s daughter Jennifer Rocco informed the world of his death on Sunday morning courtesy of her Facebook page.
Jennifer Rocco wrote, “Alex Rocco aka Alessandro Federico Petricone, Jr. passed away just hours ago on July 18, 2015. February 29, 1936 – July 18, 2015 RIP, be with Mom and Marc… I will see you but not for a while.”
There was no other immediate news about Rocco’s death, however Jennifer Rocco started to post several tributes to her father on her Facebook page. This included a link to his final interview, as well as interviews with The McCain Brothers and a link to his most famous scene from The Godfather. She also wrote out a lengthy, but heartfelt poem in his honor too.
The actor will primarily be remembered for his starring role as Moe Greene in The Godfather, but he also appeared in a number of other films and television programmes as part of a delightfully eclectic career.
Rocco also voiced the character of Roger Meyers Jr. in The Simpsons. Meyers Jr. was the head of the studio behind Itchy and Scratchy, and he found himself going up against Bart, Homer, and Marge on a number of occasions. In 1990, Alex Rocco won an Emmy Award for best supporting actor for his performance in The Famous Teddy Z opposite Jon Cryer.
Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Rocco was raised in Boston, and he previously admitted that while growing up in the Winter Hill section of the city, he was a “kind of wannabe gangster.” After he moved to Los Angeles, Rocco studied acting alongside Leonard Nimoy, who was a fellow Boston native, but told him he should lose the accent because it was too strong.
Rocco also appeared in the likes of Stars’ Magic City, 1973’s Detroit 9000, Facts of Life, and he voiced an ant in A Bug’s Life.
Speaking of his role in the Pixar film, Rocco admitted, via the Hollywood Reporter, “That was my greatest prize ever in life, because I did about eight lines as an ant, and I think I made over a million dollars.”
Rocco was previously married to Sandra Elaine Rocco for 38 years until her death in June 2012. On October 15, 2005, Rocco married Shannon Wilcox. Alex Rocco leaves behind Shannon, his daughter, Jennifer, and his grandson Anthony Dominic Rocco.
[Image via Hollywood Reporter]