Legendary “Top Gun” co-star Frank Pesce has died at 75.
The veteran Hollywood character actor succumbed to complications from dementia at his California home last weekend, his girlfriend Tammy Scher told Deadline Wednesday.
In addition to “Top Gun,” Pesce starred in a slew of other ’80s classics, including “Beverly Hills Cop,” “Flashdance,” “American Gigolo” and “Midnight Run.”
Pesce — who was close friends with Sylvester Stallone — had reportedly battled dementia for a number of years.
His last listed film credit was the 2015 “Rocky” spin-off, “Creed,” starring Michael B. Jordan.
Pesce was born in New York City in 1946, and kick-started his film career as an extra in “The Godfather II,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
The paper reported that he was also a stand-in for Robert DeNiro in “Taxi Driver” and Frank Sinatra in “The First Deadly Sin.”
Pesce met Stallone in the mid-1970s and the pair formed a long-lasting friendship.
The star featured in the first “Rocky” movie in 1976. He also appeared alongside Stallone in the sports drama “Paradise Alley,” which hit cinemas two years later.
In addition to his roles in the 1980s big-screen blockbusters, Pesce also appeared in TV shows such as “Knight Rider” and “Miami Vice.”
In 1991, Pesce turned his attention to writing, penning the screenplay for the movie “29th Street.”
That movie revolved around an Italian American who wins over $6 million in the first New York State Lottery. Pesce claimed the film was autobiographical, and named the lead character “Joe Pesce.”
However, he later admitted he never won the lottery, telling the Los Angeles Times: “Do you think I would be making movies if I won all that money?”
However, the film was still a critical success, and holds an 82% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Pesce continued to score film and TV roles throughout the 1990s and 2000s.
In addition to his girlfriend, he is survived by a brother, Vito.
Original Article: https://nypost.com/2022/02/16/top-gun-star-frank-pesce-dead-at-75/