Legendary Top Gun co-star Frank Pesce has passed away. The actor’s career also includes roles in Beverly Hills Cop and Miami Vice. He was 75 years-old.
The veteran Hollywood character actor succumbed to complications from dementia at his California home last weekend. Pesce’s girlfriend Tammy Scher told Deadline on Wednesday. Pesce had reportedly battled dementia for a number of years.
Born in 1946 in New York City Pesce’s circle of friends included Sylvester Stallone, Tony Danza and Robert Forster, among others. Known for his big smile and colorful personalit, Pesce first appeared on screen in 1976 as a guest star on Police Story. Throughout his career he appeared on other series such as Kojak, Knight Rider, Blue Thunder, The Greatest American Hero, Matlock, Who’s the Boss? and The Master.
His career included bigger roles after he starred as a bar regular in Flashdance. It led to roles in Eddie Murphy’s Beverly Hills Cop movies, Top Gun and Midnight Run. He kick started his film career as an extra in The Godfather II according to the Los Angeles Times. The paper reported that he was also a stand-in for Robert DeNiro in Taxi Driver and Frank Sinatra in The First Deadly Sin.
Pesce met Stallone in the mid-1970s and the pair formed a long-lasting friendship. The star featured in the first “Rocky” movie in 1976. He also appeared alongside Stallone in the sports drama “Paradise Alley,” which hit cinemas two years later. In 1991, Pesce turned his attention to writing, penning the screenplay for the movie 29th Street.
Pesce continued to score film and TV roles throughout the 1990s and 2000s. He will be buried on February 18th at Saint Raymond’s Cemetery in the Bronx, according to Deadline.