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Frank Pesce, a character actor whose credits included the first two Beverly Hills Cop movies and such TV shows as Miami Vice, Who’s the Boss?, Jake and the Fatman and Karen Sisco, has died. He was 75.
Pesce died Feb. 6 at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank of complications from dementia, his girlfriend, Tammy Scher, told The Hollywood Reporter.
Born in New York on Dec. 8, 1946, Pesce worked as an actor for more than four decades. He made his onscreen debut on a 1976 episode of NBC’s Police Story and appeared as a doorman in Creed (2015).
His most recognizable roles came in the first two Beverly Hills Cop films that starred Eddie Murphy. In the 1984 original, he played a cigarette buyer in the opening scene; in the 1987 sequel, he portrayed a thug named Carlotta whom Alex Foley (Murphy) accuses of being a cop.
Pesce also played a bartender in Top Gun (1986) and a wiseguy in Donny Brasco (1997).
Pesce had a story credit on 29th Street (1991), a film about a very lucky man named Frank Pesce Jr. (Anthony LaPaglia) and his rather unlucky father, Frank Sr. (Danny Aiello).
“The Pesces in this movie have their origins in real people (indeed, the real Frank Jr. is a character actor who appears as his own older brother, Vito), but in 29th Street they seem to emerge mostly from the long tradition of Italian-Americans in the movies,” Roger Ebert wrote in his review.
In addition to Scher and his brother, survivors include his nieces, Vanessa, Danielle, Theresa and Angela, and his nephew, Angelo.
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