Taking on the role of the mischievous Jo’s father Charlie Polniaczek is Alex Rocco. It was sort of one of his side gigs because when you’re Moe Greene in The Godfather, you’re definitely going to be in demand as an actor.
In the 70s Rocco appeared in both films and television series, in films including Return to Horror High, P.K. and the Kid, Scenes from the Goldmine, and Lady in White. His other acting gigs include television roles in, St. Elsewhere, The Golden Girls, The A-Team, and Murder, She Wrote.
Geri Jewell – Then
Producer Norman Lear hand-selected Geri to star on the show following a stand-up performance at the Media Access Awards in 1980. Jewell was the first actor with a disability (specifically, cerebral palsy) who was a fixture to a primetime series.
Jewell looks back on her time on the series and notes that “it did help children get comfortable dealing with a person who has a disability and taught them the value of a good sense of humor.”
Geri Jewell – Now
Today, she is best known these days for her roles on HBO’s Deadwood, Glee, Alcatraz, Strong Medicine, and 21 Jump Street! As far as the silver screen goes, you might have seen Geri on The Night of the White Pants and Two of a Kind.
But at heart, Geri was destined to bring joy and laughter, continuing with her comedic roles, despite her disability. The fact that Geri could laugh at herself, and create infectious laughter against all odds, is a true credit to her and her nature.
Alex Rocco – Now
Alex Rocco had a recurring role on The Simpsons as the head of Itchy and Scratchy Studios! He’s also appeared The Wedding Planner, Find Me Guilty, Smokin’ Aces and Scammerhead.
In a nod to his role in The Godfather, Rocco was part of Audi’s R8 ad during the Super Bowl in 2008, which was a tongue-in-cheek yet very clever and successful commercial! However, such is a life that good things come to an end, with Rocco, at the age of 79 passing away. He leaves behind a legacy with his acting credits and his four children.
Roger Perry – Then
After being discovered by none other than Lucille Ball, he was already in the industry for over 20 years!
He was known for his one-liners and for attempting to tame the chaos brought on by the girls!