Carmine Caridi who shot to fame in The Godfather: Part II has died. Picture: Supplied
Carmine Caridi who shot to fame in The Godfather: Part II has died. Picture: Supplied

Godfather actor dead at 85

Godfather actor Carmine Caridi has died after falling into a coma.

Caridi, 85, played Carmine Rosato in the iconic films, had been hospitalised at the Cedars-Sinai hospital in Los Angeles where he fell into a coma and later died, reports The Sun.

It is not yet known what caused Caridi's health problem or what triggered the coma but it is understood he never regained consciousness while he was in the hospital.

 

Carmine Caridi died after falling into a coma. Picture: Supplied
Carmine Caridi died after falling into a coma. Picture: Supplied

 

Born in New York in 1934, Caridi was a veteran of a number of hit TV shows over the years, including Starsky and Hutch, Taxi, Fame and he also played Detective Vince Gotelli in NYPD Blue.

The character of Carmine Rosato appeared in the second part of The Godfather, which was released in 1974, while Caridi also played Albert Volpe in the third instalment.

 

Carmine Caridi in The Godfather. Picture: Paramount
Carmine Caridi in The Godfather. Picture: Paramount

 

He went on to star in NYPD Blue and Fame. Picture: Supplied
He went on to star in NYPD Blue and Fame. Picture: Supplied

He also appeared in the cult movie Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park, playing the manager Calvin Richards.

Caridi became the first person to be expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, after copyright infringement.

Carmine Caridi played two different roles in The Godfather franchise as Carmine Rosato in Godfather II and then Albert Volpe in The Godfather III (pictured far right). Picture: Paramount
Carmine Caridi played two different roles in The Godfather franchise as Carmine Rosato in Godfather II and then Albert Volpe in The Godfather III (pictured far right). Picture: Paramount

The Academy said on January 13, 2004 it had identified a copy of the film Something's Gotta Give, starring Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson, which had circulated illegally on the internet, as carrying a watermark which had come from a video sent to Caridi as his role as an Oscar voter.

Unauthorised copies of The Last Samurai, Mystic River, Big Fish and Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World were also traced to Caridi, triggering an FBI investigation.

Investigators claimed that Caridi had been sending Russell Sprague his screener copies for at least three years.

Caridi denied receiving money from Sprague and told the FBI he thought Sprague was a film buff.

Both Sony and Time Warner sued Caridi and Sprague for damages with hundreds of violations cited.

Sprague died of a suspected heart attack while awaiting trial.

 

Al Pacino, Marlon Brando, James Caan and John Cazale in the Godfather. Picture: Supplied
Al Pacino, Marlon Brando, James Caan and John Cazale in the Godfather. Picture: Supplied

 

Caridi was cleared of any wrongdoing.

Speaking to the Hollywood Reporter in 2017 he said of the incident: "Let me tell you something. Everybody does it OK?"

He added: "I was doing a guy a favour and he screwed me.

"Who the hell knew he was gonna put 'em on the internet? I had no idea. I was duped."

Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather Part II was released in December 1974 and starred Al Pacino and Robert De Niro, going on to gross $US47.5million ($A68 million) in North America at the box office.

 

Carmine Caridi with Valerie Harper in the TV sitcom, Valerie. Picture: NBC
Carmine Caridi with Valerie Harper in the TV sitcom, Valerie. Picture: NBC

 

It was nominated for 11 Oscars, winning six including Best Picture, Best Director and De Niro walked off with the award for Best Supporting Actor.

The film was added to the US National Film Registry of the Library of Congress in 1993 as it was deemed to be "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."

 

This story was originally published in The Sun and is reprinted with permission.


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