Rockets Redglare

Actor, Comedian
This tough, eccentric and battered-looking nightclub habitue became a comic and eventually a successful character actor in more than 20 films. He was born Michael Gennaro Morra to a tough Brooklyn family; his father was ... Read more »
Born: 11/29/1948 in New York City, New York, USA

Filmography

Actor (28)

Rockets Redglare! 2004 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Oz 1999 (Tv Show)

Actor

Louis and Frank 1998 (Movie)

Ralph (Actor)

Living Single 1996 - 1997 (Tv Show)

Actor

Basquiat 1996 (Movie)

Rockets (Actor)

Trees Lounge 1996 (Movie)

Stan (Actor)

In the Soup 1992 (Movie)

Guy (Actor)

What About Me 1991 (Movie)

(Actor)

Force of Circumstance 1990 (Movie)

(Actor)

In the Spirit 1990 (Movie)

Bartender (Actor)

Cookie 1989 (Movie)

Carmine's Wiseguy (Actor)

Mystery Train 1989 (Movie)

Liquor Store Clerk (Actor)

Rooftops 1989 (Movie)

Calos (Actor)

Sons 1989 (Movie)

1st Man on Porch (Actor)

Big 1988 (Movie)

Motel Clerk (Actor)

Candy Mountain 1988 (Movie)

Van Driver (Actor)

Shakedown 1988 (Movie)

Ira (Actor)

She Must Be Seeing Things 1988 (Movie)

Man on Road (Actor)

Stars & Bars 1988 (Movie)

Gint (Actor)

Talk Radio 1988 (Movie)

Killer (Actor)

Down By Law 1986 (Movie)

Gig (Actor)

Salvation! Have You Said Your Prayers Today? 1986 (Movie)

Oliver (Actor)

After Hours 1985 (Movie)

Angry Mob Member (Actor)

Desperately Seeking Susan 1985 (Movie)

Taxi Driver (Actor)

Her Name Is Lisa 1985 (Movie)

Julius Marlboro (Actor)

Stranger Than Paradise 1984 (Movie)

Poker Player (Actor)

Animal Factory (TV Show)

Actor

Biography

This tough, eccentric and battered-looking nightclub habitue became a comic and eventually a successful character actor in more than 20 films. He was born Michael Gennaro Morra to a tough Brooklyn family; his father was deported, and his uncle reportedly gunned down a man in front of the boy. Morra became a ruffian himself, losing his teeth in a pistol-whipping and admitting to at least one stick-up. Morra changed his name to 'Rockets Redglare' when he became a nightclub comic in the 1970s.

Popular in the downtown punk scene, he was spotted by director Jim Jarmusch, who cast him as a poker player in the road comedy "Stranger Than Paradise" (1984). Redglare had found a new career and he never slowed down. With his tough, broken face, hulking presence and snaggle-toothed dentures, he was pretty much typed as a hood or lowlife. But his projects have run the gamut from major studio releases to such low-budget experimental films as "The Way It Is, or Eurydice in the Avenue" (1984), "Her Name is Lisa" (1986), "In the Soup" and "What About Me" (both 1992).

Cutting-edge directors are fond of him and Redglare's distinctive presence has graced such major productions as Martin Scorsese's dark comedy "After Hours" (1985, as a mob member), Susan Seidelman's "Desperately Seeking Susan" (1985, as a cab driver) and "Cookie" (1989, as a mobster), Jarmusch's "Down By Law" (1986) and "Mystery Train" (1989), and Penny Marshall's "Big" (1988, as a scary hotel clerk). Additionally, Redglare was the nuttiest caller in Oliver Stone's "Talk Radio" (1988), a denizen of old friend Steve Buscemi's "Trees Lounge" and himself in Julian Schnabel's "Basquiat" (both 1996).

Milestones

1987

First foreign film, the multi-national "Candy Mountain"

1985

First supporting role, as cab driver in "Desperately Seeking Susan"

1984

Film debut in "Stranger Than Paradise"

Worked as nightclub comic in the late 1970s

Bonus Trivia

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"If Redglare brings a verisimilitude to his parts that is beyond the scope of any acting class, he also lends the roles a physical presence that is unobtainable in a makeup chair. A certain wrecked handsomeness lurks behind the scars and the excess weight that makes him look not so much fat as badly inflated. And then there are the Redglare teeth. When he wears his jagged, discolored, metal-fortified dentures, his mouth looks as if it has been carelessly sealed with sheet metal and plywood; when he takes his dentures out, as he often does for films, his canine teeth project a slavering menace that saves directors a lot of time establishing his character." --Mark Lasswell in Premiere, September 1989.

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