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Alex Rocco, Star of 'The Godfather,' Dies at 79

Alex Rocco, a veteran character actor most famous for starring in Hollywood classic "The Godfather," has died. He was 79.

Rocco's daughter, Jennifer Rocco, revealed the actor's passing in a series of Facebook posts, writing that her father passed away on July 18 after a long, private battle with cancer. Jennifer Rocco thanked his fans for their support, writing, "I know he is watching over us."

Alex Rocco's prolific career spanned decades, but the actor became synonymous with "The Godfather," the 1972 Oscar-winning film in which he played casino owner Moe Greene. In a 2012 interview with The A.V. Club, Rocco said that that role was "without a doubt, my biggest ticket anywhere. I mean that literally."

Rocco parlayed that fame into a lengthy, eclectic resume in both film and television. He starred most recently on Starz series "Magic City," "Episodes," and "Maron," and also appeared on shows including "The Simpsons," "The Facts of Life,
See full article at Moviefone »

Alex Rocco, of The Famous Teddy Z and Facts of Life, Dead at 79

Alex Rocco, of The Famous Teddy Z and Facts of Life, Dead at 79
Alex Rocco, an Emmy Award winner for his turn as seasoned colleague to Jon Cryer’s Famous Teddy Z in the 1989 CBS sitcom, died on Saturday at the age of 79.

The veteran actor’s daughter Jennifer shared the news via her Facebook page, saying, “Rip Dad, be with Mom and [their son] Marc….I will see you but not for a while….” A cause of death was not given.

Perhaps best known as casino owner Moe Greene in the original Godfather film, Rocco’s myriad TV credits included the 1975 CBS drama Three for the Road, episodes of Police Story, The Rockford Files and Starsky & Hutch,
See full article at TVLine.com »

Dan Castellaneta of ‘The Simpsons’ Remembers Sam Simon

Dan Castellaneta of ‘The Simpsons’ Remembers Sam Simon
Sam Simon left a big impression on those he worked with during his long run as a comedy writer, director and producer.

The co-creator of “The Simpsons” also made sure that his legacy would endure well beyond the screen, thanks to his well-documented effort to give away most of his fortune after he was diagnosed with terminal colorectal cancer in 2012. Simon died March 8 at his home in Los Angeles. He was 59.

Dan Castellaneta, a stalwart of “The Simpsons” as the voice of Homer and many other characters, also worked with Simon on three other series: Fox’s “The Tracey Ullman Show” and “The George Carlin Show” and ABC’s “Sibs.” Here Castellaneta shares memories of the writer-producer he credits with changing the course of his career. — Cynthia Littleton<

“I first met Sam while we were doing “The Tracey Ullman Show.” My first memory of him from those days was that
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Former ‘Simpsons’ and ‘Taxi’ showrunner Sam Simon has passed away at 59

Prolific television writer and producer Sam Simon has passed away, Deadline is reporting. Simon succumbed to the colorectal cancer that he had been fighting since 2012. He was 59.

Simon began his career in television working on animated features such as Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids as a storyboard artist. Having an interest in writing as well, Simon submitted a spec script for the television show Taxi, which subsequently led to the hiring of him as a writer and eventual showrunner for the series’ final season, where he first worked with James L. Brooks.

His path through television led him to the writing rooms of other luminary TV shows such as Cheers, Barney Miller, and It’s Garry Shandling’s Show, ultimately leading him to be a writer and producer on The Tracey Ullman Show, where he once again worked with Brooks.

Simon, Brooks, and Matt Groening eventually worked together to make The Simpsons,
See full article at SoundOnSight »

R.I.P. Sam Simon (1955 – 2015)

American writer, director producer Sam Simon has passed away aged 59, having lost his battle with colon cancer on Sunday evening.

Best known as co-creator and producer of The Simpsons, Simon’s credits include the likes of Taxi (where he served as showrunner), Cheers, It’s Garry Shandling’s Show, The Tracey Ullman Show, The George Carlin Show, The Drew Carey Show, Friends and Anger Management.

After being diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2012, the nine-time Emmy Award winner announced he was giving away his fortune to charitable causes, including numerous animal organisations, having been a champion of animal rights during his lifetime.
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Sam Simon, Co-Creator of ‘The Simpsons,’ Dies at 59

Sam Simon, Co-Creator of ‘The Simpsons,’ Dies at 59
Nine-time Emmy winner Sam Simon, who wrote episodes of “Taxi,” “Cheers” and “It’s Garry Shandling’s Show” before co-creating landmark animated series “The Simpsons” and eventually becoming a philanthropist, died Sunday of colorectal cancer at his home in Los Angeles, his reps confirmed. He was 59 and was diagnosed with terminal cancer in late 2012.

“Simpsons” showrunner Al Jean also confirmed the news with a tweet on Monday.

Simon shared seven Emmy Awards for “The Simpsons” and two for his work on “The Tracey Ullman Show.”

In 1989 he developed “The Simpsons” with Matt Groening and James L. Brooks, and he subsequently co-wrote nearly a dozen “Simpsons” episodes during his tenure on the animated comedy, also serving as co-showrunner, character designer, creative consultant, creative supervisor, developer, and writer. He left the show in 1993 while retaining an exec producer title.

The animated sitcom, he said, gave him more freedom than live action. “You
See full article at Variety - TV News »

The Godfather’s Alex Rocco returns to his mobster roots in Batman: Year One

  • Comicmix
Alex Rocco, best known for his role as gangster Moe Greene in The Godfather, returns to his mobster roots as Carmine Falcone in Batman: Year One, the next entry in the popular, ongoing series of DC Universe Animated Original Movies.

The appearance in a Dark Knight-related project brings Rocco’s 44-year career full circle. The Massachusetts-born actor, who was once an adjunct member of Boston’s Winter Hill Gang, got his first on-screen role in the 1960s Batman television series.

Rocco appeared as the thug Block in the back-to-back episodes “A Piece of the Action” and “Batman’s Satisfaction,” which premiered on March 1 and 2, 1967. The episodes also featured the first true crossover appearance of Green Hornet and Kato on the Batman series (aside from a cameo popping out a window in the first season).

Since then, Rocco has been seen on primetime in everything from Get Smart, The F.B.I. and
See full article at Comicmix »

Alex Rocco Talks Carmine Falcone in Batman: Year One

Alex Rocco Talks Carmine Falcone in Batman: Year One
Alex Rocco, best known for his role as gangster Moe Greene in The Godfather, returns to his mobster roots as Carmine Falcone in Batman: Year One, the next entry in the popular, ongoing series of DC Universe Animated Original Movies.

The appearance in a Dark Knight-related project brings Alex Rocco's 44-year career full circle. The Massachusetts-born actor, who was once an adjunct member of Boston's Winter Hill Gang, got his first on-screen role in the 1960s Batman television series.

Alex Rocco appeared as the thug Block in the back-to-back episodes "A Piece of the Action" and "Batman's Satisfaction," which premiered on March 1 and 2, 1967. The episodes also featured the first true crossover appearance The Green Hornet and Kato on the Batman series (aside from a cameo popping out a window in the first season).

Since then, Rocco has been seen on primetime in everything from Get Smart, The F.B.I.
See full article at MovieWeb »

Exclusive: Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger Talk Kung Fu Panda 2

Screenwriters Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger discuss Kung Fu Panda 2, hatching the story of Po's background, Chuck Norris possibilities for Kung Fu Panda 3, and more

Screenwriters Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger first started working together on The George Carlin Show in the mid-90s, and they've been a writing team ever since. They both worked on TV shows such as Platypus Man, MadTV, and King of the Hill, before being brought on to revamp Kung Fu Panda, which made $215 million at the domestic box office and over $630 million worldwide. After writing another DreamWorks Animation hit with Monsters Vs. Aliens, the screenwriting duo returned to the lovable saga of the powerful panda Po with Kung Fu Panda 2, which hits 2D and 3D theaters nationwide on May 26.

This time around, Po (Jack Black) is enjoying his newfound success and popularity as the Dragon Warrior, although, much to the chagrin of
See full article at MovieWeb »

Mark Saks Makes 'Good'

Mark Saks' résumé goes from comedy ("The George Carlin Show") to drama ("Numb3rs") and back again. His current projects include the prime-time dramas "Medium" and "The Good Wife," and he recently completed work on Showtime's miniseries "The Pillars of the Earth." Saks has offices in Los Angeles and New York but estimates that he currently spends about 80 percent of his time on the East Coast. "It depends on the season," he says. "But right now, 'The Good Wife' needs so much attention, I've been here most of the time in New York."Forecasting The Futurei'm probably the only person who ever wanted to be a casting director. I think it's pretty rare. I was an actor in high school and college, and I had been working at a summer stock for kids, and I was sort of doing their casting at an amateur level. My third year of college,
See full article at Backstage »

George Carlin dies at 71

George Carlin dies at 71
George Carlin, stand-up comedian, actor and author, died Sunday night of heart failure. He was 71.

Known for his irreverent attitude, particularly his satiric and caustic observations on religion and language, Carlin was a popular counterculture figure.

He first came to national attention during the 1960s on "Laugh In," where he created such persona as the hippie-dippie weatherman. Carlin never lost his hippie sensibilities as he retained his beard and ponytail.

Carlin, who had a history of heart trouble, went into St. John's Health Center in Santa Monica on Sunday afternoon complaining of chest pain and died later that evening, said his publicist, Jeff Abraham. He had performed as recently as last weekend at the Orleans Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas.

Carlin was inducted into the Comedy Hall of Fame in 1994.

In 2004, Carlin was voted the No. 2 "Greatest Stand-up Comedian of All Time" by Comedy Central, behind Richard Pryor. He
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

In2TV channels Gone, Real for b'band airings

In2TV channels Gone, Real for b'band airings
In2TV, an ad-supported broadband network from America Online and Warner Bros. Domestic Cable Distribution, added two new channels Wednesday representing more than a dozen series. Several of the full-length programs feature episodes that were never aired. The channel called Gone but Not Forgotten TV is designed to give new life to short-lived but fondly remembered series. Among these are the Emmy-winning The Ben Stiller Show, which co-stars Janeane Garofalo and Andy Dick; Center of the Universe with John Goodman, Ed Asner, Olympia Dukakis and Jean Smart; The George Carlin Show; and Max Headroom.

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