Rocco was born Alexander Federico Petricone, Jr. in Cambridge, Massachusetts but raised in Somerville, Massachusetts, the son of Mary (née Di Biase; October 1909 - August 1978) and Alexander Sam Petricone.
He 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.
Rocco played the part of Moe Greene, a Las Vegas casino owner, in the film The Godfather. Greene's character represented the top Jewish mobster in the United States. He also played a gangster in the film The Friends of Eddie Coyle about the Boston Irish Mob. Other notable movies in which Rocco has appeared include The Wedding Planner, as Salvatore and appeared uncredited in Smokin' Aces. He also played a small part in the Disney/Pixar film, A Bug's Life as Thorny. In the film That Thing You Do!, Rocco played Sol Siler, the founder of Playtone Records.
He also has a recurring part in the long running animated series The Simpsons as the head of Itchy and Scratchy Studios, Roger Meyers, Jr.. In DVD commentaries, Rocco has expressed true gratitude to The Simpsons' staff for allowing him his first voiceover role. He has also taken a part on an episode of Family Guy (in the episode "Mind Over Murder", he had a memorable role as the masculine woman) and he is known for having played Charlie Polniaczek, Jo's father on The Facts of Life. From 1989 to 1990, Rocco was a regular on the television comedy series The Famous Teddy Z in which he played "Al Floss", a slick cheesy Hollywood talent agent and foil to Jon Cryer in the title role, an ex-mailroom clerk turned superagent. Rocco received an Emmy Award as Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for this role. In 1997, he appeared (along with Rodney Dangerfield) in the annual Thanksgiving episode of the ABC sitcom Home Improvement.
In 2008, he starred in Audi's Super Bowl commercial for the Audi R8 supercar. The commercial was inspired by one of the films Rocco was in: The Godfather. He portrays a rich man who finds the front fascia of his luxury car in his bed, a nod to the scene from the original movie in which Jack Woltz, a rich movie producer, finds the head of his prized racehorse in his bed.
After moving to Los Angeles, Rocco became a member of the Bahá'í Faith. He married Sandra Elaine Garrett (September 1, 1942–June 12, 2002) on March 24, 1964. He adopted her son, director Marc Rocco (June 19, 1962–May 1, 2009). They had a son Lucien, and a daughter Jennifer. Sandra died of cancer, aged 59. Rocco married Shannon Wilcox on October 15, 2005.
|1965||Motorpsycho||Cory Maddox||Alternative titles: Motor Mods and Rockers and Rio Vengeance|
|1967||The St. Valentine's Day Massacre||Diamond|
|1968||The Boston Strangler||Detective at Apartment of Victim #10||Uncredited|
|1972||The Godfather||Moe Greene|
|1973||The Friends of Eddie Coyle||Jimmy Scalise|
|1973||Slither||Man with Ice Cream|
|1974||Three the Hard Way||Lt. Di Nisco|
|1975||Rafferty and the Gold Dust Twins||Vinnie|
|1978||Rabbit Test||Sergeant Danny Bonhoff|
|1980||Herbie Goes Bananas||Quinn|
|1981||The Entity||Jerry Anderson|
|1984||Cannonball Run II||Tony|
|1987||Return to Horror High||Harry Sleerik|
|1988||Lady in White||Angelo "Al" Scarlatti||Alternative title: The Mystery of the Lady in White|
|1991||The Pope Must Die||Cardinal Rocco||Alternative title: The Pope Must Die(t)|
|1992||Boris and Natasha||Sheldon Kaufman|
|1995||Get Shorty||Jimmy Cap (Ray Bones' boss)||Uncredited|
|1996||That Thing You Do!||Sol Siler|
|1997||Just Write||Harold's Father|
|1998||Goodbye Lover||Detective Crowley|
|2000||The Last Producer||Poker Player||Alternative title: The Final Hit|
|2001||The Wedding Planner||Salvatore Fiore|
|2002||The Country Bears||Rip Holland|
|2003||The Job||Vernon Cray|
|2006||Find Me Guilty||Nick Calabrese||Alternative title: Find Me Guilty: The Jackie Dee Story|
|1967||Batman||Block||Episodes: "A Piece of Action"|
|1970||That Girl||Biff||1 episode|
|1972||The F.B.I.||Matt Wilnor||1 episode|
|1974||The Rookies||Earl Fisher||1 episode|
|1977||Barnaby Jones||Harry Stroop||1 episode|
|1978||The Grass Is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank||Ralph Corliss||telefilm with Carol Burnett|
|1980||CHiPs||Ansgar||Episodes: "The Great 5K Star Race and Boulder Wrap Party: Part 1"|
"The Great 5K Star Race and Boulder Wrap Party: Part 2"
|1984||St. Elsewhere||Roger||Episode: "Breathless"|
|1985||The Golden Girls||Glen||Episode: "That Was No Lady"|
|The A-Team||Sonny Monroe||Episode: "Champ!"|
|1987||Rags to Riches||Michael Rapp||1 episode|
|1989||Murphy Brown||Al Floss||1 episode|
|1989–1990||The Famous Teddy Z||Al Floss||Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series|
|1990||The Simpsons||Roger Meyers, Jr.||Episode: "Itchy & Scratchy & Marge"|
|1991–1992||Sibs||Howie Ruscio||23 episodes|
|1994||The George Carlin Show||Harry Rossetti||11 episodes|
|1995||Can't Hurry Love||Michael, Annie's Father||Episode: "Daddy's Girl"|
|1996||Mad About You||Mark Slotkin||Episode: "Outbreak"|
|The Simpsons||Roger Meyers, Jr.||Episode: "The Day the Violence Died"|
|1997||Early Edition||Barney Kadison||Episode: "Home"|
|Home Improvement||Irv Schmayman||1 episode|
|The Simpsons||Roger Meyers, Jr.||Episode: "The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show"|
|1998||Michael Hayes||Bernero||1 episode|
|1999||Family Law||Goodman||1 episode|
|2000||Walker, Texas Ranger||Johnny "Giovanni Rossini" Rose||Episodes: "Wedding Bells: Part 1"|
"Wedding Bells: Part 2"
|2001–2004||The Division||John Exstead Sr.||14 episode|
|2005||ER||Martin Trudeau||Episode: "Two Ships"|
|2007||The Wedding Bells||Larry Herschfield||Episode: "The Fantasy"|
|2010||Party Down||Howard Greengold||Episode: "Constance Carmel Wedding"|
- Alex Rocco Biography (1936-)
- AdRants Audi's Godfather Ad Powerful, Stellar, Captivating
- Social Security Death Index
- Marc Rocco dies at 46; filmmaker directed 'Where the Day Takes You'
- Obituary Sandie Rocco Copyright Coastal View (Carpinteria Valley, CA, USA) 2002
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