Staff Sgt. Nicolas Perez, a recruiter with Recruiting Station Los Angeles, laughs with Joe Santos
Joseph John Minieri Jr.|
June 9, 1931
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
March 18, 2016 (aged 84)|
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Maria Montero (m. 1958–1988; her death)|
|Children||3, including Perry Santos|
Joe Santos (born Joseph John Minieri Jr.; June 9, 1931 – March 18, 2016) was an Italian-American film and television actor, best known as Sgt. Dennis Becker, the friend of James Garner's character, on the NBC crime drama, The Rockford Files.
Born in Brooklyn on June 9, 1931, the same day his father died. His mother Rose (née Sarno), sold olive oil and eventually became a nightclub owner and singer in New York City and Havana. She later married Puerto Rican-born Daniel Santos, and Joe took his name.
Santos was a football player at Fordham University, and even turned semi-pro, before finding a new avenue in acting. He struggled in show business, and worked blue-collar jobs until his friend Al Pacino helped him get a role in the 1971 movie The Panic in Needle Park.
In the Korean War, Santos served in the United States Army.
From 1974–1980, Santos played LAPD Sergeant (later Lieutenant) Dennis Becker, the friend of the easy going ex-convict-turned-private investigator Jim Rockford (played by James Garner) in The Rockford Files, and Lt. Frank Harper in the TV series Hardcastle and McCormick (1985–86).
He had brief parts in several lesser-known films, and made a number of guest appearances on television shows throughout his acting career, frequently in the stock character role of a police officer. He also appeared on The Sopranos as Angelo Garepe in seven 2004 episodes. From 1978-80 Santos appeared on the CBS game show The Match Game, always sitting in the top left seat. He appeared in numerous episodes and was usually comic foil to Brett Somers.
In 1958, Santos met and married Maria Montero while he was in Cuba.
Santos had a heart attack in March 2016 and died a few days later at the age of 84.
|1964||Flesh and Lace||Julian shop owner|
|1966||Moonlighting Wives||Detective Hank|
|1967||The Tiger Makes Out||Uncredited|
|1971||The Panic in Needle Park||Detective DiBono|
|1971||The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight||Ezmo|
|1972||Shaft's Big Score!||Pascal|
|1973||The Friends of Eddie Coyle||Artie Van|
|The Blue Knight||Sgt. Cruz Segovia|
|1974||Zandy's Bride||Frank Gallo|
|1976||A Matter of Wife... And Death||Lieutenant Promuto|
|1986||The Education of Allison Tate||Detective Duncan|
|1989||Beverly Hills Brats||Spyder|
|1991||The Last Boy Scout||Bessalo|
|Mo' Money||Lt. Raymond Walsh|
|1993||The Right Way|
|1994||Trial by Jury||Johnny Verona|
|1997||The Postman||Colonel Getty|
|2000||Hammerlock||Warden Stan Cromwell|
|The Man from Elysian Fields||Domenico|
|2009||Baseline||Bashir Abu Ahmed|
- 1973: Police Story Season 1 Episodes 12 - 13 "Countdown" — Detective Sally Pickel
- 1974–1980: The Rockford Files — Sergeant (later Lieutenant) Becker (recurring)
- 1978: Black Sheep Squadron — CPO Miller Timmons (one episode)
- 1978-1980: The Match Game — Himself (multiple episodes)
- 1974: Kung Fu Season 3 Episode 52 "A Lamb to the Slaughter" — Señor Sanjero
- 1984: Remington Steele — Alf Nussman
- 1985–1986: Hardcastle and McCormick — Lt. Frank Harper
- 1986–1987: MacGyver — Jimmy 'The Eraser' Kendall (two episodes)
- 1986–1988: Magnum, P.I. — Police Lieutenant Nolan (five episodes)
- 1988: Miami Vice — Oscar Carrere (one episode)
- 1989: Quantum Leap — Tony La Palma (one episode)
- 1993: NYPD Blue — Angelo Marino (2 episodes)
- 2004: The Sopranos — Consigliere Angelo Garepe (seven episodes)
- Lentz, Harris M. III (2017). Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 2016. McFarland. pp. 347–348. ISBN 9781476670317. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
- Weber, Bruce (March 18, 2016). "Joe Santos, a Mainstay of 'The Rockford Files,' Dies at 84" – via NYTimes.com.
- Weber, Bruce (March 18, 2016). "Joe Santos, a Mainstay of 'The Rockford Files,' Dies at 84". The New York Times. p. A22.
- Susan Doukas Brady (July 11, 2012). Tales, Observations and Notes: Bob an Actor's Mentor. Susan Doukas Brady. p. 36. ISBN 978-1-61927-060-2.
- Terrace, Vincent (2011). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010 (2nd ed.). Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. pp. 21–22. ISBN 978-0-7864-6477-7.