R.I.P. Nicholas Georgiade, the tough Rico Rossi of The Untouchables
He was a boxer in the Army and his brother was a police officer in real life. Who better to play one of Eliot Ness' men?
In 1950, on an Army base in Nuremberg, Germany, two servicemen stepped into a ring to trade punches. The heavyweights threw blows until one won in a decision. His name was Nicholas Georgiade. The loser, Bob Biehler, went on to become a professional fighter. Nick would instead become a television tough guy.
Nine years later, in 1959, Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse, the anthology series hosted and produced by Desi Arnaz, aired a two-part episode called "The Untouchables," an adaptation of famous Chicago law enforcer Eliot Ness' memoirs. That pilot centered around the T-man and his battle against Al Capone (Neville Brand). Georgiade played a thug in a raid in that tale.
When The Untouchables was picked up for a full series, Georgiade was upgraded to the opposite side of the law — and a series lead. He would play Agent Enrico "Rico" Rossi, sidekick to Ness (Robert Stack). His character was a barber who turned gangbuster after his wife is killed by a crook. The Greek-American actor stayed on the series for its full four seasons.
Later, his boxing experience would further pay off in Hollywood. He was a henchman named "Kayo" alongside the Riddler in the Batman episode "Ring Around the Riddler." He would also pop up as a tough guy in Mannix, Hawaii Five-O, Mission: Impossible, The Mod Squad, The Rockford Files, Kojak — all the great action shows of that era.
Georgiade died on December 19, according to The Hollywood Reporter. He was 88.
His contributions to anti-apartheid and human rights were monumental.
I just read that Sally Ann Howes of "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" passed on 12/19 at the age of 91. She was Truly Scrumptious to the eye (a pun nod to justjeff's successful surgery). R.I.P. Sally Ann Howes.
I'm happy to tell all of my fellow posters that the pacemaker replacement surgery went fine and other than some localized area soreness, I'm doing great! Looking forward to another 12 years or more with God's good graces and perfect pacemaker function...
Hopefully more puns and trivia will follow in due time! Again... Happy Holidays to all!