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'Seinfeld' actor Al Ruscio dies at 89

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
November 15th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

No matter what his age and time in his career, venerable character actor Al Ruscio always seemed cast as the cranky old man. He made an indelible impression in the "The Godfather Part III' as an irascible crime boss. He also played the new restaurant manager at Monk's whom Elaine accuses of employing only buxom women as waitresses. It is later revealed that his daughters in a classic 1993 episode of "Seinfeld" episode. Ruscio has passed away at the age of 89.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A native of Salem, Massachusetts, Ruscio moved to New York and trained for two years at the Neighborhood Playhouse School for the Theater. He then moved to Hollywood in 1958, appearing on TV's "Gunsmoke" and then in the Rod Steiger film "Al Capone" (1959).

Ruscio created the drama department at the newly formed Midwestern College in Denison, Iowa in the Sixties. He then served as a professor of acting at the University of Windsor in Canada.

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He would offer his insights into acting with the publication of his book, "So Therefore .: A Practical Guide for Actors."

"Every scene or action or speech has a 'so therefore.' It is the goal, the ultimate statement of the character. You should know the so therefore as you begin your scene . The climax and the payoff is the 'so therefore.'"

Some of his more memorable film roles included a casino owner on "Showgirls," (1995) "Fever Heat," (1968), "Any Which Way You Can," (1980), "The Hunter," (1980), "Jagged Edge," (1985), "Guilty by Suspicion" (1991), "The Silence of the Hams"(1994) and "The Phantom" (1996).
 
On television, he played Bonnie Franklin's dad in one episode of "One Day at a Time," and Elder No. 4 on "The X-Files."

Other television credits included "77 Sunset Strip," "Bonanza," "Sea Hunt," "Peter Gunn," "The Untouchables," "McCloud," "Phyllis," "Lou Grant," "Shannon," "Barney Miller," "Falcon Crest," "St. Elsewhere," "Matlock," "Hillstreet Blues," "Scarecrow and Mrs. King," "NYPD Blue" and "7th Heaven."

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