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Alessandro Federico Petricone, Jr., known professionally as Alex Rocco, was an American voice actor on The Angry Beavers.

Early life

Rocco was born as Alessandro Federico Petricone, Jr.[1] in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1936, but raised in nearby Somerville, the son of Italian immigrants, Mary (née DiBiase; 1909–1978) and Alessandro Sam Petricone (1896-19??).[2][3]

According to organized crime turncoat Vincent Teresa, Alex was a hanger-on with the Winter Hill Gang of the Boston area. An unwanted advance toward Petricone's then girlfriend on Labor Day, 1961, touched off the Boston Irish Gang War of the 1960s. Georgie McLaughlin, who made the advance, was beaten by Winter Hill Gang members.[4] Howie Carr, a Boston-area journalist and radio personality who has written extensively about the Boston underworld, has written that the young Petricone (whose nickname was "Bobo") was arrested in Charlestown in November 1961 along with Winter Hill boss Buddy McLean for questioning following the death of Bernie McLaughlin of the McLaughlin gang, the first murder of the war.[5] Petricone was released without charge, and shortly thereafter left the Boston area. (When he returned to the Boston area in 1972 to play a bank robber in the film The Friends of Eddie Coyle, Petricone — now styled "Alex Rocco" — set up a meeting between Robert Mitchum and local Irish-American gangsters to help Mitchum research his part as Eddie Coyle, a low-level Irish-American criminal. Rocco introduced Mitchum to Howie Winter, leader of the Winter Hill Gang.[6] Another Winter Hill Gang member who met with Mitchum was Johnny Martorano, who had murdered Billy O'Brien, a low-level gangster.[7])

After his arrest, Petricone moved to California in 1962 and began using the name Alex Rocco. He first worked as a bartender in Santa Monica, California and took acting lessons from actor Leonard Nimoy, a fellow Boston native. Nimoy was not impressed with Rocco's heavy Boston accent and told him to take speech lessons. Rocco followed through with Nimoy's instructions and after ridding himself of the accent came back to study under Nimoy and character actor and teacher Jeff Corey.

Personal life

After moving to Los Angeles, Rocco became a member of the Bahá'í Faith,[8] and he appeared in a number of productions related to the religion over the years.[9][10][11] He also thanked Bahá'u'lláh in his Emmy Award acceptance speech.[12]

His first marriage was to Grace Petricone, and they have one daughter, Maryann. After moving to California, he married Sandra Elaine Rocco (September 1, 1942 – June 12, 2002)[13] on March 24, 1964. He adopted her son, Marc King, who became known as Marc Rocco (June 19, 1962 – May 1, 2009), a film producer, screenwriter, and director.[14] The couple had two children, a daughter Jennifer and a son, Lucien, and one grandson.

Sandra Rocco died of cancer, aged 59. Rocco remarried, to Shannon Wilcox on October 15, 2005.[15]

Alex Rocco died on July 18, 2015 from pancreatic cancer in Studio City, Los Angeles, at the age of 79.[16]

Characters portrayed

  • Lucky Rabbit

References

  1. Obituary, cbsnews.com.
  2. "Alex Rocco profile at". FilmReference.com.
  3. Chozick, Amy (March 30, 2012). "Old Miami Beach: Sun, Schmaltz, Murder". New York Times.
  4. Teresa, Vincent. "My Life in the Mafia."
  5. Carr, Howie. "Alexander (Bobo) Petricone". BostonHitman.com.
  6. Kimball, George. "Looking Back At An Unlikely Acquaintance With Whitey Bulger". WBUR.
  7. Carr, Howie. "George V. Higgins’ Eddie Coyle: Even Better than True". CriminalElement.com.
  8. Marilyn Beck (September 11, 1975). "Actor Alex Rocco says he's indebted to Bahai teachings". The San Bernardino County Sun (San Bernardino, California). p. 39.
  9. Alex Rocco (1970s). Introduction to the Baha'i Faith featuring Alex Rocco (Video). National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States.
  10. Doug Cameron, Alex Rocco (1980s). Mona with the Children (Music video).
  11. Devon Grundy, Alex Rocco, Eva La Rue… (2009). Armed (Music video). Justin Baldoni.
  12. Alex Rocco (September 16, 1990). Alex Rocco Emmy acceptance speech (video). emmys.com.
  13. "RootsWeb: Database Index". ancestry.com.
  14. McLellan, Dennis (May 29, 2009). "Marc Rocco dies at 46; filmmaker directed 'Where the Day Takes You'". Los Angeles Times.
  15. Obituary for Sandra Rocco, uga.edu.
  16. Mike Barnes. "Alex Rocco Dead: 'Godfather' Actor Was 79". The Hollywood Reporter.

External links

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