Alex Rocco, the US actor best known for his role in crime drama The Godfather, has died of cancer aged 79.
Rocco played Moe Greene, the casino boss who angrily resisted a takeover attempt from rising mafia boss Michael Corleone and paid for it with a bullet through his eye.
In a career spanning half a century, Rocco won an Emmy for his role in 1990s sitcom The Famous Teddy Z.
He also voiced the studio boss behind Itchy and Scratchy in The Simpsons.
More recently, he starred as Matt LeBlanc’s curmudgeonly father on BBC Two’s Episodes.
Born Alexander Federico Petricone in 1936 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Rocco was – according to a US organised crime informant – a young hanger-on of the Boston area’s Winter Hill Gang.
After he was arrested, but not charged, over a gang-related killing, he fled to California to work as a bartender.
Shortly after arriving in Los Angeles, he studied acting under Star Trek actor Leonard Nimoy, a fellow Massachusetts native who advised Rocco to lose his Boston accent. “I wouldn’t spend five bucks to see Leonard in a film, but he was one of the greatest coaches I ever had,” he later said.
Rocco made his debut in cult director Russ Meyer’s 1965 film Motor Psycho.
Six years later, he won a part in what was to become regarded as one of the best films ever made.

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