Actor Richard Bright, 68; Was in 'Godfather' Films

Associated Press
Monday, February 20, 2006

Richard Bright, 68, a character actor who appeared in all three "Godfather" movies and more recently on "The Sopranos," was struck and killed by a bus Feb. 18 in New York, police said.

Mr. Bright was hit by a private Academy Bus as he crossed a street about 6:30 p.m. in his Manhattan neighborhood, police Detective Bernard Gifford said.

The investigation was continuing, police said. The bus driver told police he was not aware that he had hit anyone.

Mr. Bright played mob enforcer Al Neri in the "Godfather" movies, a bodyguard to the Corleone family patriarchs played by Marlon Brando and Al Pacino.

He played a con artist hustling Ali McGraw in 1972's "The Getaway" and acted in dozens of other films, including Sergio Leone's "Once Upon a Time in America" and "Looking for Mr. Goodbar," and was in such TV shows as "Hill Street Blues."

Mr. Bright was arrested in 1965 on an obscenity charge for language he used in a San Francisco production of poet Michael McClure's two-person play "The Beard," which was shut down.

The American Civil Liberties Union took up the case, and the charges against Mr. Bright were later dismissed in what was considered a precedent for artistic expression rights.

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