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Salvatore "Sonny" Grosso (born 1933) is a movie and television producer and former New York City Police Department detective, noted for his role in the case immortalized in the book and movie versions of the French Connection. He was born in 1932 or 1933[1] in Düsseldorf, Germany. Grosso and his partner Eddie Egan, and other NYPD detectives broke up an organized crime ring in 1961 and seized 112 pounds of heroin, a record amount at the time. The investigation was the subject of a book by Robin Moore and an Academy Award-winning motion picture.

Robin Moore writes in The French Connection, "(he) was an only son with three sisters. When his father, a truck driver, died suddenly at thirty-seven, Sonny, the eldest, became the head of the family at fifteen. He treated his sisters with fatherly care.

Egan and Grosso were technical advisers to the movie and played small roles. The movie was highly fictionalized, and a character based on Grosso, called "Buddy Russo", was played by actor Roy Scheider, who was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance. Like the character, Grosso's nickname as a detective was "Cloudy." This was due to his pessimism, as well as the fact that "Cloudy" is the opposite of "Sonny."

Grosso subsequently became a movie and TV producer and technical advisor, involved in 36 productions including the 1970s cop show Kojak. He also played small roles in a number of movies including playing a cop in The Godfather.

In October 2007, Grosso produced a limited engagement performance of Richard Vetere's Be My Love: The Mario Lanza Story. The play was directed by Charles Messina and co-produced by Phil Ramone. It premiered at The Tilles Center in Greenvale, NY.[2]

Grosso also produced a series filmed in Canada entitled Night Heat, starring Jeff Wincott and Scott Hylands.[3]


Year Title Role Notes
1971 The French Connection Clyde Klein
1972 The Godfather Cop Outside Hospital Uncredited
1973 The Seven-Ups Counterfeit Money Courier Uncredited
1975 Report to the Commissioner Detective #1
1977 Contract on Cherry Street Rhodes
1980 Cruising Det. Blasio


  1. ^ "Now 74 years old" [in 2007]. IT STILL HURTS AFTER 35. New York Daily News. New York, N.Y.: Apr 12, 2007. pg. 1
  2. ^ "Richard Vetere Collection". Stony Brook University Special Collections & University Archives. Archived from the original on 2012-09-04. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  3. ^ IMDB entry for "Night Heat".

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