The Tragic Death Of Top Gun Actor Frank Pesce

Frank Pesce, the veteran actor whose body of work includes blockbusters like "Top Gun" and "Beverly Hills Cop," has died. He was 75 years old.

His girlfriend, Tammy Scher, confirmed to Deadline that the actor passed on February 6 in Burbank, California due to dementia complications. He's survived by his brother, Vito Pesce, nieces Vanessa and Danielle Pesce, and sister-in-law Catherine Pesce. Frank will be buried on February 18 at the Saint Raymond's Cemetery in the Bronx, New York, where he was from.

While he was not an A-lister per se, Pesce will be remembered for his scene-stealing moments in multiple films. The "Reel Talk with the Hollywood Kid" podcast also notes that he was Sylvester Stallone's stand-in and has appeared in nearly 100 films and TV shows throughout his career. He had roles in shows like "Miami Vice," "Kojak," and "Knight Rider," as well as movies like "Flashdance," "American Gigolo," and "Midnight Run."

Frank Pesce wrote a film inspired by his life

He may not be as famous as his peers in the industry, but Frank Pesce had an entire film based on his life. "They make movies about guys like me," he would frequently say, and indeed, he saw it come to fruition. Oscar-nominated producer David Permut recalled producing "29th Street," a movie inspired by a time in Pesce's life in New York City when he won $6 million in the lottery, per Deadline.

While there were conflicts about the rights to the story initially — Permut sold it to United Artists, while Pesce sold it to Paramount — it ended up being made anyway, with the script having been co-written by Pesce himself. In a 1991 interview with the Los Angeles Times, he admitted that he never actually won anything, and chose to omit that part of the story because he wanted a happy ending. "It's the only part of the movie that isn't true," he said at the time. "Do you think I would be making movies if I won all that money?"

This anecdote alone just goes to show how interesting of a person Pesce was. "To say Frank was one of a kind would be a gross understatement," Permut said. "We shared our love and passion for film. He claimed to see more movies than Leonard Maltin and Roger Ebert combined."