Alex Rocco, one of the most recognizable and gifted of “that guy” supporting players, died Saturday at 79.
The venerable character actor was best known for his turn as Moe Greene, the “Do you know who I am?”-spouting casino owner whose massage included a very unhappy ending in The Godfather. But the Boston-born Rocco’s CV lists a staggering 167 performances, including appearances in Get Shorty, That Thing You Do!, The Stunt Man, and The Friends of Eddie Coyle.
He was also a television workhorse, making guest appearances on countless shows—from the original Batman in 1967 to a May episode of Maron, with a recurring turn as Roger Meyers Jr. on The Simpsons in between—and appearing as a regular on The Facts of Life, The George Carlin Show, and Magic City. But his best TV work came on the 1989 series The Famous Teddy Z, an ostensible Jon Cryer vehicle that Rocco stole outright with his portrayal of super-agent Al Floss. Teddy Z only ran a season—its showbiz satire was a few years ahead of its time—but the role brought Rocco an Emmy for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. (Cryer tweeted a photo of Rocco with that statue Sunday, remembering his co-star as “the sweetest man.”)
Rocco is survived by his wife, four children, four grandchildren, sister, and—a working actor until the end—two films that are currently in post-production.