Al Checco

Al Checco was a character actor best known for his roles opposite his Army buddy and comedy partner, the late Don Knotts. The two men met during World War II, in a unit assembled to entertain the troops. Checco would sing and Knotts would follow with a ventriloquist act.

Checco later guest-starred opposite Knotts in two episodes of The Andy Griffith Show. First, he played a bank robber in 1962’s "The Bank Job," and later he played a thief scheming to recover his lost loot in 1965’s "If I Had a Million Dollars.” He also worked with Knotts in the films The Incredible Mr. Limpet, The Ghost and Mr. Chicken, The Reluctant Astronaut and How to Frame a Figg.

Checco graduated from Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama in 1946 and headed to New York. He began working as a stage manager on Broadway and then turned to acting and singing, performing in the musicals Crazy for You, Damn Yankees, South Pacific, Man of La Mancha, Showboat and the stage play An Inspector Calls, among other theater productions.

His other notable film roles include Hotel, The Party, Bullitt, Angel in My Pocket, Skin Game, The Terminal Man, Pete’s Dragon and Zero to Sixty. He also appeared in the 1976 CBS television movie Helter Skelter, based on the book of the same name by Vincent Bugliosi. Checco played real-life supermarket executive Leno LaBianca, who was killed with his wife by the Manson family.

Al Checco was a character actor best known for his roles opposite his Army buddy and comedy partner, the late Don Knotts. The two men met during World War II, in a unit assembled to entertain the troops. Checco would sing and Knotts would follow with a ventriloquist act.

Checco later guest-starred opposite Knotts in two episodes of The Andy Griffith Show. First, he played a bank robber in 1962’s "The Bank Job," and later he played a thief scheming to recover his lost loot in 1965’s "If I Had a Million Dollars.” He also worked with Knotts in the films The Incredible Mr. Limpet, The Ghost and Mr. Chicken, The Reluctant Astronaut and How to Frame a Figg.

Checco graduated from Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama in 1946 and headed to New York. He began working as a stage manager on Broadway and then turned to acting and singing, performing in the musicals Crazy for You, Damn Yankees, South Pacific, Man of La Mancha, Showboat and the stage play An Inspector Calls, among other theater productions.

His other notable film roles include Hotel, The Party, Bullitt, Angel in My Pocket, Skin Game, The Terminal Man, Pete’s Dragon and Zero to Sixty. He also appeared in the 1976 CBS television movie Helter Skelter, based on the book of the same name by Vincent Bugliosi. Checco played real-life supermarket executive Leno LaBianca, who was killed with his wife by the Manson family.

His other work in television included roles on the series Mister Ed, The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, The Munsters, Gomer Pyle: USMC, Perry Mason, Batman, The Phyllis Diller Show, The Flying Nun, Mod Squad, Bonanza, The Streets of San Francisco, Ironside, Here’s Lucy, Police Story, The Six Million Dollar Man, The Rockford Files, Quincy M.E., Love Boat, Dallas, Knight Rider, Highway to Heaven, Growing Pains, Becker and Scrubs.

Checco died July 19, 2015, in Studio City, California. He was 93.

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