Godfather Actor Who Played Moe Greene Dead at 79

Alex Rocco won an Emmy for short-lived sitcom 'The Famous Teddy Z'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 19, 2015 3:50 PM CDT
Godfather Actor Who Played Moe Greene Dead at 79
In this Sept. 16, 1990 photo, actor Alex Rocco holds up his Emmy award for best supporting actor in a television comedy series for his role in "The Famous Teddy Z," at the Emmys in Pasadena, Calif.   (Nick Ut)

The Emmy-winning character actor best known for playing the bespectacled Las Vegas mobster Moe Greene in "The Godfather" has died. Alex Rocco was 79. Rocco's daughter, Jennifer, announced his death yesterday. Details of his death were not immediately available. Rocco's career spanned five decades and he remained active up until his death. His most famous role came in 1972's "The Godfather," where he played the humbled casino owner who meets his fate on a massage table. The tough-talking, Boston-born Rocco voiced the cigar-smoking studio head of "Itchy and Scratchy" on "The Simpsons."

He also played Charlie Polniaczek on the 1980s sitcom "The Facts of Life." He won an Emmy in 1990 for the short-lived Jon Cryer sitcom "The Famous Teddy Z." And he played the father of actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan's character on the series "Magic City" on Starz, per the Hollywood Reporter. "He gave the best advice, told the best and dirtiest jokes and was the first to give you a hug and kiss when it was needed," says Morgan in a statement. "To know Roc was to love Roc. He will be missed greatly. There is a little less magic in the world today." Rocco is survived by his wife, actress Shannon Wilcox, his daughter Jennifer, son Lucien, and a grandson. (Read more obituary stories.)

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