Jilly Rizzo

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Jilly Rizzo
Ermenegildo Rizzo

(1917-05-06)May 6, 1917
DiedMay 6, 1992(1992-05-06) (aged 75)
Resting placeDesert Memorial Park
Occupation(s)Restaurateur and entertainer

Ermenegildo "Jilly" Rizzo (May 6, 1917 – May 6, 1992) was an American restaurateur and entertainer.


As a young man, Rizzo worked with his father delivering Italian ice to cafes. Rizzo opened Jilly's Saloon, a lounge on West 49th Street, then moved to 256 West 52nd Street at the intersection with Eighth Avenue in Manhattan. Jilly's Saloon was a popular celebrity hangout in the 1960s. Rizzo's long-time friend Frank Sinatra frequented the lounge.[1] Rizzo later became one of Sinatra's chief aides, and was even referenced in Sinatra's adapted lyrics for "Mrs. Robinson" to avoid using the name "Jesus". Rizzo was also a frequent guest on Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In, where he would recite one liners in his monotone New York accent.

In 1990, Rizzo and five other men were convicted of fraud in relation to an $8 million loan scheme. He was given 1,000 hours of community service in a case presided over by judge Jack B. Weinstein.[2]


Rizzo was killed by a drunk driver in Rancho Mirage, CA on his 75th birthday, May 6, 1992.[2][3] He is buried in Desert Memorial Park in Cathedral City, California.[2]


Year Title Role Notes
1962 The Manchurian Candidate Jilly Uncredited
1967 Tony Rome Card player Uncredited
1968 The Detective Bartender Uncredited
1984 Cannonball Run II Jilly
1985 Year of the Dragon Schiro
1987 The Pick-up Artist Casino Floor Manager
1990 Eternity Jilly (final film role)
Year Title Role Notes
1970–1971 Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In Himself 8 episodes
1977 The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast: Frank Sinatra Himself Television special
1974–1978 Kojak Various roles 2 episodes

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Talese, Gay (April 1966). "Frank Sinatra Has a Cold". Esquire. No. Wikipedia describes the article here. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
  2. ^ a b c "Jilly Rizzo, Close Aide To Sinatra, Killed at 75". The New York Times. 7 May 1992. Retrieved 3 May 2022.
  3. ^ Kraft, Scott (17 July 2010). "Parole battle pits Sinatra family against killer of singer's right-hand man". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 3 May 2022.

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