Carmine Caridi, who appeared in two “Godfather” films during a six-decade career and was booted out of the motion picture academy for sharing movie screeners, died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center at the age of 85.
Caridi died Tuesday at the Los Angeles hospital, his representatives told The Hollywood Reporter and Variety.
Caridi’s friend, actor-director Chazz Palminteri, told TMZ.com that Caridi died of complications suffered from a recent fall. He fell into a coma at the hospital and never regained consciousness, according to TMZ, which was the first outlet to report his death.
“From Broadway, to film and television, Carmine spent over six decades entertaining audiences, and nothing made him happier,” the talent agency that represented Caridi said in a statement. “His talent, wit, warmth and charm will be missed. Carmine passed peacefully, surrounded by friends and family, yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon at Cedars Sinai hospital.”
Caridi played mobster Carmine Rosato in the “Godfather’s” first sequel in 1974 and Albert Volpe in “The Godfather Part III” in 1990. His other film credits included a major role in “Prince of the City,” in which he played a detective.
On the small screen, he appeared in such TV shows as “Starsky and Hutch,” “Taxi,” “Fame,” “Simon & Simon” and “NYPD Blue.”
The Manhattan-born actor, who grew up in a mob-dominated neighborhood, credited his involvement in a local boys club, where he took up acting as a teen, for helping him avoid the gangster life.
“I’m lucky I’m here talking to you. All my friends went with the mob,” he told THR’s Scott Feinberg in 2017.
Caridi, who served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, became a self-professed “dope addict” who ended up in federal prison for selling cocaine to an undercover agent before kicking drugs and kickstarting his acting career.
Caridi was the first individual ever expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, in 2004, for making VCR copies of screeners of films vying for Oscar nods. He received the screeners as a voting member of the Academy, which took notice when they ended up on the internet.
“I sent [them] to people, besides my brother and sister, who couldn’t afford them. I made a lot of people happy,” he told THR’s Feinberg. “I don’t blame the Academy. I did violate their law.”
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