Frank Pesce, Top Gun Actor, Is Dead

By Dan Lawrence | 3 months ago

frank pesce beverly hills cop

Sad news has come from La La Land today, as Deadline report that Actor Frank Pesce has passed away at the age of 75. The actor featured in countless classic hits, from Top Gun to Miami Vice and Midnight Run to Kojack. The disheartening news comes courtesy of Pesce’s girlfriend Tammy Scher. She spoke to Deadline, regarding the tragic announcement, commenting that Scher died on February sixth in Burbank, as a result of dementia-related complications. 

Frank Pesce’s career in Hollywood was successfully carved out as that of a ‘character’ actor. He frequently appeared in numerous memorable titles performing small, but again memorable roles. Titles Pesce’s included are Top Gun, The Expendables 3Midnight RunBeverly Hills Cop and its 1987 sequel. His career, however, started out on the small screen. The late actor, born in New York City on December 8th 1946, first appeared in Police Story, before going on to feature in Kojak and Knight Rider

Not only does Frank Pesce leave behind loved ones in the form of his brother, Vito Pesce; nieces Vanessa Pesce and Danielle Pesce; and sister-in-law Catherine Pesce, but Variety reports that the actor had a close circle of Hollywood stars that he counted as friends. These included Sylvester Stallone, Tony Danza and Robert Forster. Incredible company to keep, and those who knew him best remember him fondly. The actor was widely regarded as a colourful personality with a wonderful smile. Fond memories indeed.

The positive sentiment surrounding Frank Pesce is echoed by his girlfriend Tammy Scher, who when speaking with Variety, had this to say, “I met Frank at a very low point in my life. He always said he saved me and he was right. I’d never met anyone like him. Frank was a force larger than life or any fictional character, always entertaining, intriguing and fascinating. Unafraid to approach anyone and immediately make an acquaintance. Celebrities flocked to be near him as he had an encyclopedia of knowledge about music and movies.”

frank pesce
Frank Pesce and Robert Pastroelli in Beverly Hills Cop II (1987)

The words of Tammy Scher are echoed by David Permut. The List reports that film producer Permut, had this to say regarding Frank Pesce; “To say Frank was one of a kind would be a gross understatement. We shared our love and passion for film. He claimed to see more movies than Leonard Maltin and Roger Ebert combined.”

Strong words indeed from Permut. His relationship with Pesce goes back to the 1991 feature film 29th Street. The film, in which Permut serves as producer was written by Pesce and depicts real-life events of the late actor. Frank Pesce also stars in the film in the role of his real-life older brother Vito Pesce. 29th Street could be considered as one of Frank Pesce’s greatest contributions to cinema, the film was warmly received by critics, not least of all Roger Ebert. Ebert, who David Permut cited as comparable to Pesce’s film intellect, had this to say about the feature; 29th Street is a movie of considerable energy and good humor, with the expansive Aiello, the uninhibited Kazan and the screwy LaPaglia having a lot of fun with the material.”

These words from Ebert should come as no surprise to those who knew Frank Pesce. It would appear that the review of the autobiographical work echoes the words spoken on Pesce’s nature of a person. In summary, it is worth noting that while the passing of mega Hollywood superstars can leave a big hole in the Cinema landscape, Pesce’s passing represents something far more subtle and acute. The loss of a constant, professional, personable and positive presence amidst the at times, punishing Hollywood machine. His loss will undoubtedly be profound to all who knew him well and held his work in high esteem.