Alex Rocco was a well-known American actor who rose to fame in the 1970s and 1980s for his portrayal of tough-talking, wisecracking characters. He was best known for his role as Moe Greene in the iconic film “The Godfather” and his work on the hit TV show “The Facts of Life”. However, despite his success in the entertainment industry, Rocco’s personal life was marked by tragedy, including the death of his son and his own battle with cancer. In this blog post, we will explore the personal life, career, and tragic death of the Irish mob actor.
The Early Years
Childhood and Family Life
Alex Rocco was born on February 29, 1936, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to Italian immigrant parents. His birth name was Alessandro Federico Petricone Jr. Rocco grew up in a working-class family and was the youngest of five children. His father worked as a shoemaker, and his mother was a homemaker.
Rocco’s childhood was marked by tragedy when his older brother, Richard, was killed in a car accident at the age of 18. This event had a profound impact on Rocco and his family and would later influence his decision to pursue a career in acting.
Rocco began his acting career in the 1960s, appearing in a variety of TV shows and films. He had small roles in popular shows like “Batman” and “The Beverly Hillbillies” before landing his breakout role in “The Godfather”.
Breakout Role in “The Godfather”
Rocco’s portrayal of Moe Greene in “The Godfather” earned him critical acclaim and helped establish him as a talented actor. His character was a ruthless Las Vegas casino owner who met a violent end, but Rocco’s performance made him a memorable part of the film’s legacy.
Family Life and Tragedy
Rocco was married twice and had three children. His son, Marc, was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident in 2001. Rocco was devastated by the loss and struggled with depression in the years that followed.
Battle with Cancer
In 2004, Rocco was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He underwent treatment and was able to beat the disease, but the experience had a profound impact on him. He became an advocate for cancer research and spoke openly about his battle with the disease.
Alex Rocco passed away on July 18, 2015, at the age of 79. He died of pancreatic cancer, which he had been battling for several years. His death was a shock to his fans and colleagues, who remembered him as a talented actor and a kind, generous person.
Alex Rocco’s legacy lives on through his work in film and television. He was a talented actor who brought humor and depth to his roles, and his contributions to the entertainment industry will not be forgotten. His personal struggles with tragedy and illness also serve as a reminder of the importance of resilience and perseverance in the face of adversity.