Charles RocketCharles Rocket was one of those character actors you remember only because they play the same kind of role in a number of films. In his case, he seems to have specialized in annoying bad-guy characters. He was the jerk fiance in Earth Girls Are Easy, the jerk brother of Bruce Willis on Moonlighting, a jerk stepdad in Short Cuts ... you get the idea. I had no idea he'd ever been a comedian; that may have been before my time. He replaced Bill Murray on Saturday Night Live's "Weekend Update" in 1980, a particularly unmemorable time for the show, and was fired after using a four-letter word on the air.

Rocket's death, however, was sadly memorable. He was found dead near his Connecticut home on Oct. 7, with his throat cut. However, the state medical examiner ruled today that the death had "no criminal aspect" and was in fact a suicide.

A column in the Providence Phoenix recalls Rocket fondly from his pre-acting days and mentions his influence on the Rhode Island art and music scene, including the band Talking Heads. Who knew the bad guy from Dumb and Dumber had such hidden depths?
categories Cinematical