Salvatore "Sonny" Grosso is a movie and television producer and former New York City Police Department detective, noted for his role in the case immortalized in the book and movie versions of the French Connection. He was born in 1932 or 1933 in Düsseldorf, Germany.
Grosso and his partner Eddie Egan, and other NYPD detectives, broke up an organized crime ring in 1961 and seized 112 pounds of heroin, a record amount at the time. This seizure is mentioned as a throwaway line in the 2007 Feature American Gangster, but is portrayed as the very drugs taken out of the Evidence Room by corrupt police officers, cut and resold to the mobsters from whom it was stolen. The investigation was the subject of a book by Robin Moore and an Academy Award-winning motion picture.
Egan and Grosso were technical advisers to the movie and played small roles. The movie was highly fictionalized, and a character based on Grosso, called "Buddy Russo", was played by actor Roy Scheider (who was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance). Like the character, Grosso's nickname as a detective was "Cloudy." This was due to his pessimism, as well as the fact that "Cloudy" is the opposite of "Sonny."
Grosso subsequently became a movie and TV producer and technical advisor, involved in 36 productions including the 1970s cop show Kojak. He also played small roles in a number of movies including playing a cop in The Godfather.
In October 2007, Grosso produced a limited engagement performance of Richard Vetere's Be My Love: The Mario Lanza Story. The play was directed by Charles Messina and co-produced by Phil Ramone. It premiered at The Tilles Center in Greenvale, NY.
- Sonny Grosso at the Internet Movie Database
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