In Memory of Alex Rocco

Alex Rocco

Alex Rocco, the gravelly voiced actor who died last Saturday, had something that set him apart from other tough guy actors.  Alex Rocco had life experience.

As a young man living in Boston, Rocco was associated with members of the infamous Winter Hill Gang.  In 1961, a member of the Charleston Mob named George McLaughlin allegedly made a pass at Rocco’s girlfriend.  Two other members of the Winter Hill Gang retaliated by beating up McLaughlin, setting off the Irish Mob War of the 1960s.  By the time the war ended, the Charleston Mob had been eradicated and Alex Rocco had relocated to California, where he worked as a bartender and took acting lessons from Leonard Nimoy.

Alex Rocco was best known for appeared in The Godfather as Moe Greene, the Las Vegas “businessman” who made his bones while Michael Corleone was still going out with cheerleaders.  However, Alex Rocco’s career began long before The Godfather, when he played a gangster in the Batman TV series and made his feature debut in Russ Meyer’s Motropsycho! 

In 1973, Alex Rocco returned to Boston, playing a bank robber in The Friends of Eddie Coyle.  This sadly underrated crime film was based on the real life history of the Winter Hill Gang.  When stars Robert Mitchum and Peter Boyle wanted to research their roles, it was reportedly Alex Rocco who arranged for them to spend time with their real-life counterparts.

Rocco did not just play gangsters.  He also appeared as cops in films like The Boston Strangler, Detroit 9000, and The Stunt Man.  However, for many, Alex Rocco’s best non-gangster role will always be providing the voice of studio head Roger Meyers, Jr. on The Simpsons.  Meyers was just as determined to make cartoons and protect his father’s legacy as Moe Greene was to keep the Corleones out of Las Vegas.

So, for one last time, let us put on our glasses and tell Bart and Lisa to “mail it to me next week when I might have cared.”  Rest in peace, good gentleman.  Thank you for the memories.

Artist Profile: Robert Stanley (1918 — 1996)

Born in Kansas and educated at the Kansas City Art Institute, Robert Stanley was a prolific cover artist who worked for paperback publishers like Bantam, Dell, Eagle Books, Lancer Books, Lion Books, Popular Library, and Pyramid Books.  He’s probably best known for the racy work he did for Beacon Books.

A small sampling of his work can be found below.

Cradle of the Sun

Crows Can't Count Framed in Blood Nightmare Town Pagan Passions Rocket To The Morgue Sin in Space Slan The Creeping Siamese The Dead Ringer The Deviates The Male Response Universe Virgin Planet When World Collide



4 Shots From 4 Films: Summer Wars, Redline, Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honnêamise, Ōkami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki

Typically, site anime expert pantsukudasai56 would be the one to recommend anything and everything anime. Anime in its series form, OVA (original video animation) and/or straight up film. I like to think my knowledge of anime is second only to his.

While I’ve had an off and on love affair with anime throughout the years I have seen my fair share of anime film. From pantsukudasai56’s viewpoint, only those anime that were produced from beginning to end with the intent of having a film release qualifies as anime film. OVA productions he sees as a sort of straight-to-video releases and shouldn’t qualify. his own initial 4 Shots From 4 Films entry were all anime films.

With his example as a guide I have chosen four anime films that veteran and burgeoning fans of the art form should check out. Two come from the heir apparent to the great Satoshi Kon. Another is a hyperkinetic (even for an anime) traditional hand-drawn anime which has had a major influence on the more recent Fast and Furious films. The fourth is a film from the late 80’s which rekindled my love for anime during my high school years.


Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honnêamise (dir. by Hiroyuki Yamaga)

Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honnêamise (dir. by Hiroyuki Yamaga)