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Trained at HB Studio, rough-edged American actor Ray Sharkey quickly graduated to movies and television. Sharkey's first film was The Lords of Flatbush (1974), a street-gang drama that also featured early appearances by Henry Winkler and Sylvester Stallone. The actor's breakthrough film was 1980's The Idolmaker, in which he played rock 'n' roll entrepreneur Bob Marcucci; that same year, he was Phil in the low-budget but highly praised Willie and Phil. Sharkey's best known role was as Atlantic City gangster Sonny Steelgrave on the TV series "Wiseguy" (1987-90). Shortly after finishing work on the 1992 Burt Reynolds vehicle Cop and A Half, Sharkey made public the fact that he had contracted AIDS through indiscriminate drug use; he died less than one year later.

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