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‘Godfather’ Actor Carmine Caridi Dies at 85

Carmine Caridi, the actor best-known for portraying Carmine Rosato in “The Godfather: Part II,” has died. He was 85.

Caridi died on Tuesday after being in a coma at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles, his reps confirmed to Variety. TMZ first reported the news.

“From broadway, to film and television, Carmine spent over six decades entertaining audiences, and nothing made him happier,” his reps said in a statement. “His talent, wit, warmth, and charm will be missed. Carmine passed peacefully, surrounded by friends and family, yesterday afternoon at Cedars Sinai Hospital.”

His character in “The Godfather: Part II,” Carmine Rosato, 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 that he over-ruled Coppola because he thought Caridi was too tall for the role, which instead went to James Caan.

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.

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.

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