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Actor and restaurant owner Vitello was 81 – The Hollywood Reporter

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Steve Restivo, actor in Garry Marshall’s films and former co-owner of Vitello’s, the Studio City restaurant which hosted Baretta star Robert Blake and his wife just before she was shot dead. He was 81 years old.

Restivo died on November 5 at West Hills Hospital after a year-long battle with lung cancer and complications from COVID-19, his son Roy Restivo, a former television executive at NBCUniversal, announced.

For Marshall – who dined frequently at Vitello’s – Restivo appeared as Count Vitello in The diary of a princess films released in 2001 and 2004 and also worked for the director in Nothing in common (1986), Beaches (1988), A pretty woman (1990), Frankie and Johnny (1991), Exit to Eden (1994), The other sister (1999) and Raising Hélène (2004).

Restivo also appeared in episodes of Quincy me, Remington steele and The new Adam-12.

Steve and Joe Restivo had owned Vitello for almost 30 years when Bonny Lee Bakley, Blake’s wife of six months and mother of her young daughter, was shot twice at close range while sitting in the car after being shot. Italian-style dinner. restaurant on May 4, 2001. (Blake said he returned to the restaurant on Tujunga Avenue to retrieve a gun he left behind.)

Almost four years later, including a year in prison, a jury acquitted Blake of Bakley’s murder and also found him not guilty of soliciting a former stuntman (whom he first met on the set of Bar, his 1975-78 ABC series) to kill his wife.

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Vitello’s Italian Restaurant seen in May 2001
David McNew / News

After filming, Vitello’s saw a huge increase in clientele and became a stopover on the tourist bus routes. Restivo, meanwhile, has been interviewed about the case on shows such as Date line, 20/20, 48 hours and more recently Marcia Clark investigates the first 48.

Survivors include his wife, Sara; sons Roy, Vince and Steve Jr .; Brother Salvatore; and sister Lucy Ricciardone.

Memorial services will be held at 12:30 p.m. on December 10 at the Hills Church at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Hollywood Hills.

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