We unfortunately never got to see enough of Joe Spinell. Joe Spinell passed away in his apartment in Sunnyside, Queens, New York on January 13, 1989, at age 52 due to undetermined causes, still the subject of much speculation. Some say he died of a heart attack because of his failing health in recent months due to his heavy drinking, drug use, and the emotional turmoil resulting from his mother’s death (who passed away in 1987.) Others say he died from an asthma attack, or that he bled to death from an accidental (or deliberate) cut since he was a hemophiliac.
But before Spinell’s death he had an impressive body of work making appearances in 61 across movies and TV. He’s perhaps best known as the mafia man Tony Gazzo from Rocky and Rocky II. Spinell was known for playing brute “Italian” type roles and he did it with excellence.
Here’s a clip of Spinell as Gazzo after the jump….
“Take her to the zoo!”