Ermenigildo "Jilly" Rizzo (May 6, 1917 – May 6, 1992) was an American restaurateur and entertainer.
May 6, 1917
New York City, U.S.
|Died||May 6, 1992 (aged 75)|
|Cause of death||Car accident|
|Resting place||Desert Memorial Park|
|Occupation||Restaurateur and entertainer|
As a young man, Rizzo worked with his father delivering Italian ice to cafes. Rizzo opened Jilly's Saloon, a lounge on West 49th Street, then moved to 256 West 52nd Street at the intersection with Eighth Avenue in Manhattan. Jilly's Saloon was a popular celebrity hangout in the 1960s. Rizzo's long-time friend Frank Sinatra frequented the lounge. Rizzo later became one of Sinatra's chief aides, and was even referenced in Sinatra's adapted lyrics for Mrs. Robinson to avoid using the name "Jesus". Rizzo was also a frequent guest on Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In, where he would recite one liners in his monotone New York accent.
In 1990, Rizzo and five other men were convicted of fraud in relation to an $8 million loan scheme. He was given 1,000 hours of community service.
On May 5, 1992, Jilly Rizzo had spent hours preparing for his birthday party, a soiree the next day that was to include his friend Frank Sinatra and other Rat Pack luminaries. A few minutes after midnight, he got into his car and headed for his girlfriend’s house. After a few minuets Rizzo was killed when his car was hit by Jeffrey Perrotte, a 28-year-old alcoholic in Rancho Mirage. Perrotte ran home as Rizzo burned to death on his 75th birthday. He is buried in Desert Memorial Park in Cathedral City, California.
|1962||The Manchurian Candidate||Jilly||Uncredited|
|1967||Tony Rome||Card player||Uncredited|
|1984||Cannonball Run II||Jilly|
|1985||Year of the Dragon||Schiro|
|1987||The Pick-up Artist||Casino Floor Manager|
|1990||Eternity||Jilly||(final film role)|
|1970–1971||Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In||Himself||8 episodes|
|1977||The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast: Frank Sinatra||Himself||Television special|
|1974–1978||Kojak||Various roles||2 episodes|
- Talese, Gay (April 1966). "Frank Sinatra Has a Cold". Esquire (Wikipedia describes the article here). Retrieved 17 March 2018.
- "Jilly Rizzo, Close Aide To Sinatra, Killed at 75". New York Times. 1992-05-07. Retrieved 2008-07-21.
- "Parole battle pits Sinatra family against killer of singer's right-hand man". Los Angeles Times. 2010-07-17. Retrieved 2019-10-02.
- Ap (1992-05-07). "Jilly Rizzo, Close Aide To Sinatra, Killed at 75". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-10-02.