Alex Rocco Jr (February 29, 1936 - July 18, 2015) was an American actor, who appeared several times on The Simpsons as Roger Meyers, Jr. His other roles ranged from comedy to playing gangsters in Mafia movies, the latter fitting in with his reported connections to mob organizations.
Rocco was born Alexander Federico Petricone, Jr. in Somerville, Massachusetts, the son of Mary (Di Biase) and Alexander Sam Petricone. Known by the nickname "Bobo" as a young man, Rocco had connections to the Winter Hill Gang in the early 1960s (a mostly Irish gang, despite his Italian-American background). An incident in which George McLaughlin of a rival gang tried to pick up on Petricone's girlfriend helped start the Irish Mob Wars of the early 1960s in Boston. Petricone was a suspect in the October 1961 murder of Bernie McLaughlin, but was never charged. He then moved to California, began using the name Alex Rocco, lost a considerable amount of weight, and got into Hollywood. After moving to Los Angeles he became a member of the Bahá'í Faith.
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, going so far as to off-camera slap Michael's brother, Fredo. Fredo was portrayed as weak and probably in need of an occasional slap, but Michael, barely in the Don's role, asked him: "You straightened my brother out?" Corleone then told Greene that he was going to buy him (his casino) out. Greene angrily tells the neophyte Michael that he buys Michael out, not vice versa. Michael, however, does not negotiate like his father did. Michael later dispenses of Greene through a hired assassin's bullet through the eye.
In The Godfather: Part II, the Jewish kingpin Hyman Roth reveals that Greene was a stand-in for Ben Siegel, as the man who invented Las Vegas. Hyman Roth betrays a knowledge that Michael arranged Greene's death, and as such shows himself to be one of Michael's true enemies. He also played a gangster in the film The Friends of Eddie Coyle about the Boston Irish Mob, a part very close to his own life. 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 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 voiced Bea Arthur in "Ready, Willing, and Disabled", an episode of Family Guy, 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.
- Episode – "Itchy & Scratchy & Marge" Roger Meyers, Jr.
- Episode – "The Day the Violence Died" Roger Meyers, Jr.
- Episode – "The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show" Roger Meyers, Jr.
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