Actor George DiCenzo

George Ralph DiCenzo (April 21, 1940 – August 9, 2010) was an American character actor and one-time associate producer for Dark Shadows. He was in show business for more than 30 years, with extensive film, TV, stage and commercial credits. DiCenzo notably played Sam Baines in Back to the Future. He also had a minor role in Blatty’s The Exorcist III.

Life and career

DiCenzo was born in New Haven, Connecticut. He appeared in more than 30 feature films, including Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), The Choirboys (1977), The Frisco Kid (1979), The Ninth Configuration (1980), Back to the Future (1985), About Last Night (1986), Walk Like a Man (1987), The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking (1988), 18 Again! (1988), Sing (1989) and The Exorcist III (1990).

He appeared in Hotel, directed by Mike Figgis, and Tempted, directed by Bill Bennett. He also played the late baseball commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti in the television movie Hustle about disgraced baseball great Pete Rose. In 2002 George played Ennio Salieri in the 2002 video game Mafia. George also provided the voice for Earnest Kelly in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.

In 1976, he appeared in the CBS made-for-TV movie Helter Skelter as prosecuting attorney Vincent Bugliosi. In the 1981–82 television season, DiCenzo was a regular on McClain’s Law, with James Arness and Marshall Colt, starting with the television film McClain’s Law, structured as the series’ pilot. He appeared in the 1977 miniseries Aspen, the 1980 TV movie The Night the City Screamed, and made regular appearances on Murder, She Wrote, Law & Order and NYPD Blue.

His own series included Equal Justice and Joe’s Life in the early and mid-1990s. He appeared as a guest star in the Law & Order: Criminal Intent episode “Semi-Professional”. In the early 1990s, DiCenzo appeared on Broadway with Nathan Lane in On Borrowed Time.

DiCenzo’s voice can be heard on many commercials, audiobooks, and cartoon series. His roles in the latter include the title character in BlackStar (1981), and Hordak in She-Ra: Princess of Power (1985–1986). He was an acting teacher in New York City and Philadelphia for several years. He apprenticed under his mentor Milton Katselas at the Beverly Hills Playhouse.


DiCenzo died of sepsis on August 9, 2010 at the age of 70. He was buried in the North and Southampton Churchyard at Churchville, Bucks County, Pennsylvania.


  • House of Dark Shadows (1970) – Deputy (uncredited)
  • Going Home (1971) – Sergeant
  • Across 110th Street (1972) – Patrolman
  • Shoot It Black, Shoot It Blue (1974) – George
  • The Swiss Family Robinson (1975) – Suramin
  • Las Vegas Lady (1975) – Eversull
  • Helter Skelter (1976) – Vincent Bugliosi
  • Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) – Major Benchley
  • The Choirboys (1977) – Lt. Grimsley
  • The Frisco Kid (1979) – Darryl Diggs
  • The Ninth Configuration (1980) – Capt. Fairbanks
  • Gangster Wars (1981) – Arnold Rothstein
  • McClain’s Law (1981) – Lt. DeNisco
  • Breach of Contract (1983)
  • The Secret of the Sword (1985) – Bow / Hordak (voice)
  • Back to the Future (1985) – Sam Baines
  • The Longshot (1986) – DeFranco
  • About Last Night (1986) – Mr. Favio
  • Omega Syndrome (1986) – Philadelphia ‘Phil’ Horton
  • Walk Like a Man (1987) – Bob (Bub) Downs
  • The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking (1988) – Mr. Blackhart
  • 18 Again! (1988) – Coach
  • Sing (1989) – Mr. Marowitz
  • Face of the Enemy (1989) – James Wald
  • The Exorcist III (1990) – Stedman
  • Gypsy Eyes (1992) – Wyden
  • Lesser Prophets (1997) – Jerry
  • Illuminata (1998) – Jailor
  • It Had to Be You (2000) – Mel
  • Tempted (2001) – Byron Blades
  • Hotel (2001) – Boris
  • Stateside (2004) – Detective #2
  • A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints (2006) – Uncle George (final film role)
  • External Links

    Actor George DiCenzo – Wikipedia

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