Jilly Rizzo

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Jilly Rizzo
Jilly Rizzo.jpg
Ermenigildo Rizzo

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

Ermenigildo "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.[2]


On May 5, 1992, Jilly Rizzo had spent hours preparing for his birthday party, a soiree the next day that was to include his friend Frank Sinatra and other Rat Pack luminaries. A few minutes after midnight, he got into his car and headed for his girlfriend's house. After a few minutes, Rizzo was killed when his car was hit by Jeffrey Perrotte, a 28-year-old alcoholic in Rancho Mirage. Perrotte ran home as Rizzo burned to death on his 75th birthday.[3] He is buried in Desert Memorial Park in Cathedral City, California.[4]


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 (Wikipedia describes the article here). Retrieved 17 March 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ "Jilly Rizzo, Close Aide To Sinatra, Killed at 75". New York Times. 1992-05-07. Retrieved 2008-07-21. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ "Parole battle pits Sinatra family against killer of singer's right-hand man". Los Angeles Times. 2010-07-17. Retrieved 2019-10-02.
  4. ^ Ap (1992-05-07). "Jilly Rizzo, Close Aide To Sinatra, Killed at 75". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-10-02.

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