His most famous role came in 1972's "The Godfather," where he played the humbled casino owner who meets his fate on a massage table, with a bullet through his thick eyeglass lenses. His confrontation with Al Pacino's Michael Corleone -- in which he condescended to the new boss: "I made my bones when you were going out with cheerleaders!" -- was among the movie's many indelible scenes.
"Without a doubt, my biggest ticket anywhere," Rocco told the AV Club in 2012. "I went for. I dunno, one of the Italian parts. Maybe the Richard Bright part. But Coppola goes, 'I got my Jew!' And I went, 'Oh no, Mr. Coppola, I'm Italian. I wouldn't know how to play a Jew.' And he goes, 'Oh, shut up."'