Richard Grieco: Not Just Another Pretty Face!
This story is for all you movie and television buffs out there. You know exactly who you are! You had full sized posters up on the walls and doors of your bedrooms. You bought anything with your favorite movie or TV star’s image on it. If they endorsed any product, you just had to buy it for yourself. You couldn’t wait to rush home from school to watch your favorite show and it really didn’t matter if it was a re-run or not. If it was a movie, you saved up your money just so you could see your favorite star on the big screen. You would have walked several miles to the movie theater if you had to or possibly even rode your bike (back when it was actually safe to do so). There wasn’t anything or anyone that would stop you from watching your favorite movie star on the big screen or small screen as well.
For some of you ladies out there in Movie and TV dreamland, Richard Grieco may have been one of your favorite actors. He was one of mine too, not because I have any particular reason other than he was from my hometown, or because of his dark, broodingly handsome Irish/Italian good looks he somehow was born with instead of me getting them. Mostly, I think it was because he was a regular kind of guy growing up in the same town as I did and although he is a few years younger than myself, I could relate to him in many ways. We were both born in Watertown, NY. We both came from a relatively large close-knit family, we both liked sports and music. He liked art and poetry as did I. We are both Aries and have half Irish blood. We both loved Italian food too! Mostly, we both liked acting and were very creative individuals.
Although Richard was not a personal friend, and was not in any of my classes, he was one of us. Just a local kid with a big dream who went out into the big, scary world and proved that he was more than just a pretty face. He was named one of the best faces of the 80’s after landing modeling contracts with Giorgio Armani, Calvin Klein, and Chanel. Richard went on to appear in over 36 movies and television shows as well. He even helped produce his own TV show, Booker. He even got a comedic stint on Who’s The Boss as Tony Danza‘s long lost Italian cousin. Who could forget 21 Jump Street or If Looks Could Kill ?
Hollywood is well know for chewing up actors and spitting them back out as wanna-be’s, has-beens and never will be’s. The streets of Hollywood are living proof of all the broken-hearted people that showed up, and gave it their best shot, but fell far short. They are the waiters and waitresses that wait on the successful actors. They are the bellhops that carry their luggage and the porters that park their fancy sports cars. And some are the clever ones that sell ‘Maps to the Stars Homes’ in Beverly Hills, Belaire, or up in the Hollywood Hills far above the working class and tourists. Everyone plays their role well, just like in the movies.
Richard Grieco was not among those statistics. He came to Hollywood and conquered the ‘City of So-Called Angels’. A town referred to at one time as Tinsletown. You see, Richard Grieco was not just another pretty face in Hollywood, he also had plenty of talent and perseverance. And possibly, just a wee bit of that local Irish luck was with him wherever his journeys took him in life.
Ok, I will agree that his charming good looks most likely didn’t hurt his chances of success!