The Heartbreaking Death Of The Untouchables Star Nicholas Georgiade

Actor Nicholas Georgiade, who was most well known for playing Eliot Ness's righthand man, Enrico "Rico" Rossi, on hit ABC crime drama "The Untouchables," has died at the age of 88. Per The Hollywood Reporter, the sad news was confirmed by Georgiade's nephew, Nick. The actor was reportedly living in Las Vegas at the time of his death. Georgiade's daughter, Stazi, also took to Facebook to pay tribute to her beloved dad. "He lived 88 long years and had a beautiful life. He was also a wonderful father to me. I had the blessing to have him pass away in my arms tonight. Thank you in advance to all your kind words and prayers," she wrote.

Georgiade had 45 IMDb credits to his name, the most recent of which was 2007 movie "Three Days to Vegas." As THR notes, Georgiade was still an up-and-comer when he was cast as a thug in CBS's "Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse," which served as a two-part pilot for what would become "The Untouchables." The show began proper just five months later, with Georgiade returning as barber Rossi, who joins forces with a group of Prohibition-era federal agents after losing his girlfriend in a deadly incident with local criminals. Georgiade ultimately featured opposite Robert Stack, Abel Fernandez, Paul Picerni, and Steve London across 113 episodes of the hit show.

Nicholas Georgiade pulled inspiration from real life

Although Nicholas Georgiade was relatively inexperienced when he first joined what would become "The Untouchables," he had a real-life connection to crime-fighting since his brother was a police officer, per The Hollywood Reporter. Back in 1960, Georgiade enthused in an interview that he'd "done a lot of research about Chicago and the skullduggery of the [Al] Capone era" to prepare to play Rico, which the actor described as "a living experience and a new experience every time." Georgiade's career took in several crime-based roles over the years, including in the likes of "The Equalizer" and "Crime Story" (via IMDb). 

The actor was born and raised in New York City. He studied sociology and psychology at Syracuse University, where Georgiade also developed a flair for the dramatic arts. He later studied under legendary acting coach Herbert Berghof and eventually moved to Hollywood, where Georgiade was snapped up as the first member of Lucille Ball's Desilu Workshop, after making a major impression in a low-budget production of Arthur Miller's "A View From the Bridge."

Indeed, Georgiade was an inspiration for his namesake nephew, who lived with him in Las Vegas in the 1980s and 1990s and has dabbled in acting over the years too. "He meant a lot to me," Nick told "Some people said he was my idol." No cause of death was revealed for "The Untouchables" star.