Stage Name: Alex Rocco
Nick name: “Bobo,” “Bo”
Played Moe Green in the Godfather movie with Al Pacino, James Caan, Marlon Brando, Talia Shire, etc.
Born: February 29, 1936, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Address: Jacques Street, Somerville, Massachusetts, before moving to Hollywood California in 1963
Affiliation: Winter Hill Gang
Once a gangster does not mean always a gangster, as Petricone has already proven who became a multi-millionaire as an actor.For proof, you only have to look at the career of Alexander F. Petricone, a player on the fringes of the Winter Hill Gang, actually involved in hits.Who quickly realized that life in the mob can be nasty, brutish and short lived. You either end up dead, in jail, on someone will rat you out or set you up with law enforcement.
As actor Alex Rocco, Petricone was able to parlay his insider knowledge into a series of memorable screen appearances in a storyline that could have been written by mystery scribe Elmore Leonard. He used his hands on experiences in real live mob business to become a great actor.As a bartender and resident of the Winter Hill Gang living in the Winter Hill area of Somerville the heart of the Winter Hill Gang ‘s head quarters earlier before it switch to South Boston James “Whitey” Bulger and Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi stomping ground, Petricone was friendly with the guys in the rackets, a little too friendly, like really involved in numerous extremely violent acts with them.
According to Vincent Teresa in his book” “My Life In the Mob,” George McLaughlin tried to pick up Petricone’s girlfriend in September 1961, a precipitating incident in Boston’s bloody gang wars in the early 1960s.Twenty-five-year-old Petricone was arrested with the Leader of the Winter Hill Gang: James J. “Buddy” McLean of Somerville in connections with the noontime slaying of Bernard McLaughlin, George’s brother, in Charlestown on October 31, but was later released from custody with no charges filed.Petricone wisely left for California, where a friend told the heavy-set former bartender that he should try acting due to his “interesting” face, as Petricone told a Boston Globe reporter in 1975.
With coaching from actor Leonard Nimoy ( a native of Boston’s West End), whom also play Spock in the famous TV series Star Track, he toned down his Boston accent, and wise guy image. Petricone became actor Alex Rocco, who talked his way onto a one-line stint on the TV show Batman.Other roles followed on TV and in the movies, including one as a bank robber in” “The Friends of Eddie Coyle, Which stars George Mitchem.Perhaps his most memorable role was a Las Vegas gangster Moe Green, who gets shot in the eye in the Hit movie: The Godfather.
He eventually branched out to portray a variety of characters, including a reoccurring spot on TV’s The Simpsons.In 1989, he won an Emmy for his role in the short-lived series “The Famous Teddy Z.” He also poked fun at the bloody horse scene in the Godfather in an edgy Audi commercial aired during the 2008 Super Bowl, In which he wakes covered with oil to find an Audi bumper in his bed.Given the trial of murders and broken lives left by the Winter Hill Gang, Petricone made a smart career move in 1963. His success also underscores the blurring between hype and reality in the Boston underworld as independently corroborated since the 1960s through the current date. The Irish Gang War of the 1960s left over 65 people dead, mostly from Charlestown’s Gang. Francis “Cadillac Frank” Salemme , James “Whitey” Bulger and Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi received the most benefits from the The Irish Gang War.