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Chuck Low Dead: ‘Goodfellas’ Actor Dies at 89

Chuck Low, the actor best known for his role as Morris “Morrie” Kessler in Goodfellas, died in his sleep at Allendale Nursing Home in New Jersey on September 18, according to his obituary published in The New York Times. He was 89.

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Born in New York City, Low served four years on active duty as an army major. He was part of the U.S. Army Reserve for more than 30 years and the U.S. National Guard from 1957 to 1965. Low worked as a real estate developer in NYC in the ’60s and ’70s. He became friends with Robert De Niro, one of his tenants in the Tribeca neighborhood, before kicking off his acting career.

Chuck Low dead
Chuck Low attends the Tribeca Film Festival screening of ‘Goodfellas’ at Beacon Theatre in New York City on April 25, 2015. Jim Spellman/

The actors made their first onscreen appearance together in the 1982 film The King of Comedy, in which Low played a customer in a Chinese restaurant who mocked De Niro’s character. They later costarred in Once Upon a Time in America (1984) and The Mission (1986) before working together on Low’s biggest film, Goodfellas (1990).

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In the iconic Martin Scorsese-directed crime movie, Low played wig salesman Morrie. He shared several scenes with De Niro, 74, before being killed off at the hands of Joe Pesci‘s character, Tommy DeVito.

Chuck Low Goodfellas
Chuck Low in ‘Goodfellas.’

Low later had small roles in other De Niro films including Mistress (1992) and Night and the City (1992). His final credited role was in the 2003 film Kill the Poor.

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“Chuck lived life to the fullest, with a wit, intelligence and passion that was positive and contagious,” his obituary read. “His skill in anything to do with mechanical, electrical or physical engineering was exceptional. He befriended many, and tried to help his friends through rough times, with intense dedication and kindness. All his friends have been gifted at least one swiss army knife.”

Low is survived by his children, Mitchell Low and Debra Low Mykrantz; son-in-law Peter S. Mykrantz Jr.; granddaughters Jenni and Katie Mykrantz; niece Beth Lynne Robbins; and ex-wife Cherida Michaels. He was laid to rest in a family plot at Beth David Cemetery in Elmont, New York, on September 20.

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