Al Lettieri

Alfredo Lettieri (February 24, 1928 – October 18, 1975) was an American actor. Active during the 1960s and 70's until his death, he commonly portrayed villainous characters. He achieved recognition for his performance as mobster Virgil Sollozzo in the crime film The Godfather (1972) and appeared in several other productions alongside Hollywood's biggest screen stars.

Al Lettieri
Virgil Sollozo.png
Lettieri as Virgil Sollozzo in The Godfather
Born
Alfredo Lettieri[1]

(1928-02-24)February 24, 1928
DiedOctober 18, 1975(1975-10-18) (aged 47)
New York City, U.S.
OccupationActor
Years active1958–1975

BackgroundEdit

Lettieri was an Italian-American who spoke Italian fluently. His brother-in-law was Pasquale Eboli, brother of Genovese crime family boss Thomas Eboli.[2] Married and divorced once, Lettieri died of a heart attack in 1975, at the age of 47, leaving behind two children.

CareerEdit

1950s to 1960sEdit

Lettieri had a role in the 1958 Perry Mason episode "The Case of the Fugitive Nurse" as Arthur Strome.[3] At the age of 36, he had a role in the television film The Hanged Man (1964).[4]

1970sEdit

Lettieri is best known for his role as Sicilian heroin trafficker Virgil Sollozzo in the 1972 American crime film The Godfather. This was the second film in which he and Marlon Brando had worked together, the first being The Night of the Following Day (1969).

He wrote the film adaptation that became the screenplay for the 1971 gangster movie Villain, which starred Richard Burton and Ian McShane.[5][6] Lettieri played the henchman, Rudy Butler, in Steve McQueen's 1972 action film, The Getaway,[7] and the menacing hit-man Frank Renda in the 1974 Charles Bronson film, Mr. Majestyk.[8][9] He played the part of Ciro Musante in the Tonino Valerii-directed 1976 film, Go Gorilla Go.[10]

FilmographyEdit

Year Title Role Notes
1964 The Hanged Man Al TV movie
1965 Wild Seed (Fargo) Bartender (as Anthony Lettier)
1965 Dark Intruder (Black Cloak) 2nd Sergeant TV film, (as Anthony Lettier)
1966 After the Fox (as Anthony Lettier)
1967 The Bobo Eugenio Gomez
1969 The Night of the Following Day Pilot aka Al (as Al Lettier, though is also listed on the credits as Alfredo Letteri, associate producer)
1971 A Town Called Bastard La Bomba
1972 The Godfather Virgil "The Turk" Sollozzo
1972 Pulp Miller
1972 Footsteps Zimmerman TV film
1972 The Getaway Rudy Butler
1973 The Don Is Dead (Beautiful But Deadly, The Deadly Kiss) Vince Fargo
1973 The Deadly Trackers Gutierrez, Mexican Policeman
1974 McQ Manny Santiago
1974 Mr. Majestyk Frank Renda
1975 Piedone a Hong Kong (aka Flatfoot Goes East, Flatfoot in Hong Kong) Frank Barella
1975 Winner Take All ("Time Lock") Man at Track TV series
1976 Dublin Murders
1976 Vai Gorilla (Go Gorilla Go) Ciro Musante
1976 House of Pleasure for Women Eddie Mordace (final film role)

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Person Details for Alfredo Lettieri, "U.S. Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014" — ancestry.com".
  2. ^ "Meadow Soprano on Line One!" by Mark Seal, Vanity Fair, 26 February 2009
  3. ^ Aveleyman.com - Al Lettieri
  4. ^ AllMovie - The Hanged Man (1964)
  5. ^ EMI Films and the Limits of British Cinema, By Paul Moody - Page 112
  6. ^ Rotten Tomatoes - Villain (1971)
  7. ^ "Notes on Lettieri". The Sumter Daily Item. September 25, 1973. Retrieved September 21, 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ Screen Anarchy, July 18, 2018 - 70s Rewind: MR. MAJESTYK, Melons, Migrants and Murder - Peter Martin
  9. ^ "'Mr. Majestyk' is more violence, more sexism". The Miami News. August 8, 1974. Retrieved September 21, 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^ Rotten Tomatoes - The Hired Gun (Vai Gorilla) (Go Gorilla Go), Cast

External linksEdit