Carmine Caridi, the actor best-known for portraying Carmine Rosato in “The Godfather: Part II,” has died. He was 85.
Caridi died on Tuesday, his reps confirmed to Variety. He had been in a coma at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles. TMZ first reported the news.
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His Carmine Rosato character in “The Godfather: Part II” played a key role in the territorial feud with Frank Pentangeli, played by Michael V. Gazzo. Studio executive Robert Evans said in his 1994 memoir “The Kid Stays in the Picture” that Caridi was director Francis Ford Coppola’s first choice for the role of Sonny Corleone in “The Godfather.” However, Evans, he said in the book, thought Caridi was too tall for the role, which instead went to James Caan.
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The veteran actor also appeared in “The Godfather: Part III” as a different character, Albert Volpe, an investor in Michael Corleone’s casinos who is killed in an attack at a hotel in Atlantic City. He also starred in TV shows including “Phyllis,” “Starsky and Hutch,” “Taxi,” “NYPD Blue” as Detective Vince Gotelli and “Fame” as Angelo Martelli.
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In 2004, Caridi became the first person to be expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He was ousted for circulating screeners of movies vying for Oscar attention. Caridi and Russell Sprague were also sued by Sony and Time Warner on civil charges of copyright infringement. Caridi was cleared of wrongdoing.