Character actor Frank D'Amico carved out a unique presence for himself in Hollywood. An obese, towering figure with an unmistakable Italian-American background, he specialized -- time and again -- in comedic portrayals of heavies, typically though not always in crime comedies. A native of Mt. Vernon, NY, D'Amico was born in 1955 and grew up in the Manhattan boroughs as the son of a unionist; he discovered a flair for entertainment by making a practice of entertaining the workers in the Teamster picket lines, which squarely placed him on the road to a career as a stand-up comic. D'Amico spent years touring the club circuit and opening for major names as a comedian, then broke into films rather late in life, circa 1996, when he began appearing in low-budget indies, usually in bit or supporting capacities. These included the straight-faced crime thriller Back to Back (1996), the comedic documentary Trekkies (1997), and the crime comedy The Dukes, on which D'Amico also served as an associate producer. Meanwhile, he became a favored presence on television, playing various characters on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and landing guest appearances in such series as Emeril, Becker, and NYPD Blue. Tragically, D'Amico suddenly died in June 2008, not long after publishing a book of comedic memoirs, the aptly titled Stand-Up Guy: The "Larger" Than Life True Stories of a Candy Store Gangster. He was 52.