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Biography

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Overview (1)

Date of Birth 9 November 1940Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Mini Bio (1)

In his 50-year acting career, Mario Roccuzzo has worked with everyone from Hollywood legends such as Fred Astaire, who made an ill-fated attempt to teach Mario how to dance, to tyro writer/director Alexander Smith, who cast Mario in his debut film, Bottleworld.

Incredibly versatile, Mario overcame initial 'bad guy' typecasting roles in the early '60's to land over 250 TV roles and 12 film roles. By the 70's he couldn't walk down the street without someone stopping him to ask for autographs, because he was 'that guy' they'd seen guest starring in their favorite show the night before.

Born in Boston, Mario witnessed his parents traveling up and down the New England coast to perform with an Italian repertory company. Instead of jading him to the life of an actor - watching rehearsals enthralled Mario and he knew early on what he wanted to be.

The tragedy of his father's death when Mario was ten years old led his mother to relocate to California with Mario and his sister in tow. Working a 'day job' at Wallach's Music City as a manager, Mario spent nights studying with acting coach Jeff Corey and later with Corey Allen. Determined not to leave his career to chance, in 1960 Mario infiltrated Columbia Studios and crashed the office of John Frankenheimer. When the director asked Mario what he was doing there, he replied simply, "I want to audition for you for your next film."

He got a cold read - and the part of Diavolo in The Young Savages.

Later that year, Mario was cast as Nicky on the No. 1 show on television at the time, The Untouchables. More 'bad guy' roles followed on shows such as The F.B.I., Stoney Burke and Surfside Six. Mario's chameleon versatility and the '70's 'anti-hero' revolution opened the floodgates to a string of diverse roles including Harold Wagner opposite William Holden in The Blue Knight.

By the '80's, Mario had worked on practically every cop show on television including Barretta, Barnaby Jones, Barney Miller, Police Story, Streets of San Francisco, and Hill Street Blues. By the 2000's he'd include NYPD Blue on that list, along with comedies such as Dharma & Greg and The Drew Carey Show. He also continued to act in feature films, charming audiences as Jerry the Bartender opposite Jim Carrey in The Majestic and as the 'show closing' last customer in Bottleworld.

Despite a still growing credit list, Mario states, "In my heart of hearts, I love acting just as much as when I first started out."

- IMDb Mini Biography By: L. Rose

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