Al Ruscio, a well-known character actor and accomplished stage actor, died on Tuesday in his home after a long and prolific career. He was 89.

Al Ruscio TV Actor

Among his many TV parts was that of the restaurant manager at Monks during Seinfeld’s pilot episode. He had also appeared in Bonanza, Matlock, St. Elsewhere, 7th Heaven, The X-Files, and a number of other small screen programs. Ruscio had regular roles on Shannon, Life Goes On and Joe’s Life. His soap opera resume included Santa Barbara, Port Charles and Days of Our Lives.

Al Ruscio In Film & On Stage

On the big screen, Ruscio appeared in The Godfather: Part III as crime boss Leo Cuneo and in Showgirls as a casino worker. On stage, Ruscio starred in A View From the Bridge at the Players Ring Theater and played the Devil in George Bernard Shaw’s touring Don Juan in Hell. While serving as the chairman of the theater department at Midwestern College he produced a total of 25 plays, including Darkness at Noon, The Music Man, Of Mice and Men and The Seagull.

In addition to his acting work, Ruscio also served as a teacher of the craft and served on the Screen Actors Guild. With his wife, actress Kate Williamson, he conducted acting workshops for animators.

Born in Salem, Mass., Ruscio began acting with the New England Shakespeare Festival in the evenings while studying at Staley College after serving in WWII. He later joined the North Shore Players, before heading to New York to study at the Neighborhood Playhouse School.

Ruscio is survived by three daughters – Elizabeth Ruscio, Nina Ruscio, Maria Ruscio – son Michael Ruscio and five grandchildren.

– Chelsea Regan

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