CHARLES ROCKET Biography - Actors and Actresses


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Name: Charles Adams Claverie                                                         
Born: 24 August 1949 Bangor, Maine                                                   
Died: 7 October 2005 Canterbury, Connecticut                                         
Charles Rocket (August 24, 1949 – October 7, 2005) was an American film and         
television actor, notable for his tenure as a cast member on Saturday Night Live     
as well as for his appearances as the villain Nicholas Andre in the film Dumb &       
Dumber and Adam, the Angel of Death, in the series Touched by an Angel.               
Rocket was born Charles Adams Claverie in Bangor, Maine. He attended the Rhode       
Island School of Design in the late 1960s and was part of the Rhode Island           
underground scene in the 1970s. He had a son with his wife Beth.                     
Rocket made several short films and fronted his band, the Fabulous Motels. He         
later anchored the local news at Channel 12 WPRI and at KOAA-TV in Colorado           
Springs under his own name, and WTVF Nashville under the name Charles Kennedy.       
He made his network debut on the popular late-night television Saturday Night         
Live. Later in his career Rocket would lend his accordion talents to the David       
Byrne-produced B-52's album Mesopotamia.                                             
Rocket was cast for the 1980–81 season, which followed the departure of the         
remaining members of the show's popular original cast and original executive         
producer Lorne Michaels. Singled out by new executive producer Jean Doumanian as     
the star of her new ensemble, Rocket was promoted as "kind of a cross between         
Bill Murray and Chevy Chase." Rocket was given the role of anchor for the show's     
Weekend Update news parody, and was featured in many sketches. He was a "utility     
man" of sorts, as he appeared in more skits than any other male cast member that     
season (with the exception of Joe Piscopo).                                           
The February 21, 1981 episode hosted by Dallas star Charlene Tilton (with             
musical guests Todd Rundgren and Prince) featured a parody of the famed Who Shot     
J.R.? episode of Dallas. In the episode, Rocket was shot in the chest by a           
sniper while doing a sketch about a sexy couple (with Gail Matthius as his           
partner) bathing a dog and spouting innuendo. At the end of the show, as cast         
members traditionally gathered around the host to say good night, Tilton asked       
Rocket how he felt about being shot. In character, a wheelchair-using Rocket         
improvised, "Oh, man, it’s the first time I've ever been shot in my life. I'd       
like to know who fucking did it", followed by the cast and audience reacting         
with shock and laughter.                                                             
Due partially to the violation of broadcast standards, but in truth due more to       
Saturday Night Live's low ratings, Doumanian and Rocket were soon fired (along       
with most of the writers and fellow cast members Gilbert Gottfried and Ann           
Risley). Piscopo and Murphy were the only cast members to survive the axe, after     
new producer Dick Ebersol replaced Denny Dillon and Gail Matthius after               
producing one episode.                                                               
Episodes in which Rocket appeared have rarely been seen since their original         
airdates, but they will likely be released in a "Complete Sixth                       
Season" boxed set, as NBC began releasing such sets in 2006.                         
Rocket recovered from this early career setback and acted in many films,             
including Earth Girls Are Easy, It's Pat, Dances with Wolves, and Dumb & Dumber,     
often portraying the antagonist. In television, he secured a series of guest         
spots on several 1980s sitcoms, co-starred in the short-lived 1992 comedy-drama       
series Tequila and Bonetti, and played rival network president Ned Grossberg on       
the 1980s cyberpunk series Max Headroom. Rocket became well known for his role       
as Richard Addison (brother to Bruce Willis' David Addison) on the popular           
comedy-drama Moonlighting and as "Adam" the first "Angel of Death" on CBS's           
Touched by an Angel.                                                                 
During the 1990s, some roles for Rocket were box office duds such as the             
animated Titan A.E. and Fathers' Day and the short-lived 2000 John Goodman           
series Normal, Ohio on the Fox network. But he made frequent guest appearances       
on many popular television programs in the late 1990s and early-to-mid 2000s,         
including Quantum Leap, Wings, The King of Queens, and recurring roles in             
Touched By An Angel, and Law & Order: Criminal Intent, the last of which marked       
his final appearance on network television. He also lent his voice to popular         
video game titles Star Wars: Starfighter, Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter (as the         
character "Nym" in both games), Descent 3, and Age of Mythology.                     
His final film role came in the 2003 movie Shade which starred Sylvester             
Stallone and Melanie Griffith.                                                       
Rocket's final appearance on television was on the series Law & Order: Criminal       
Intent in 2004. He guest starred playing Donny DePalma, a bank robber.               
Rocket was found dead in a field near his Connecticut home on October 7, 2005;       
his throat had been cut. He was 56 years old. The state medical examiner later       
ruled the death a suicide.