John Cocchi (1939-2014)

John Cocchi

John Cocchi

Film historian John Cocchi, reported missing a few weeks ago, unfortunately has been found dead. The family’s online funeral notice gives June 16 as the date of his passing.

The Monster Kid Classic Horror Forum posted Valerie and Bob Cocchi’s announcement of a memorial service on June 26 (details are included in the forum and in funeral notices). They extended this invitation to those who knew him:

John touched many lives if you would like to share your memories please feel free to share them during the service.

James H. Burns noted in his earlier post that Cocchi has been one of the leading film history researchers for decades and was thanked by name in many of the books on the genre appearing in the 1960s and 1970s. Jerry Beck also commented, “John was IMDB personified years before IMDB existed. He knows everything about classic Hollywood movies.”

Cocchi contributed to leading mainstream film publications like Box Office, wrote introductions for Bob Dorian when he was hosting AMC’s classic movies, and authored two books  — Second Feature (Citadel Press, about B-movies, including serials, horror and sci-fi) and The Westerns: A Picture Quiz Book (for Dover).

A contemporary, and friend, of Leonard Maltin’s and Joe Franklin’s, Cocchi was a frequent presence at movie buff conventions.

He also acted in the 1960s serial homage, Captain Celluloid.

In recent years he had started writing articles again, for Classic Images.

The family asks, in lieu of flowers, that donations be made in Cocchi’s memory to: American Foundation for Suicide, 120 Wall 29th floor, NY, NY 10005 or Columbia University Psychiatry Research on Bipolar Disorders Dawn de Leon, Senior Director of Development, Columbia  University Medical Center, 100 Haven Avenue, Suite 29D, NY, NY 10032.

6 thoughts on “John Cocchi (1939-2014)

  1. Tonight, we were remembering John.

    A whole bunch of us were on the phone.

    And now, mysteries aside, it was so much fun to talk about this guy who had kind of been one of the constants in such a long chapter of American pop culture scholarship.

    (And as I made Charles Collins laugh with, just a few minutes ago, Collins having once been an early science fiction fanzine contributor and a rather good anthologist, and just about one of the last links, along with the grandly wonderfully still around Ted White, to the early days of CASTLE OF FRANKENSTEIN…

    I spoke like John, and said, “Come on, Jim. What? You think I have all night to spend on the phone?”

    The best thing to remember about John tonight, as Jerry Beck inferred a few weeks ago, was his generosity with his knowledge.

    And I so miss the fact, that we can no longer chat.

  2. For many years in the latter part of the 1900s and into the early 2000s, on Saturday evenings, I would cook dinner for John and a few friends, Then they, my husband and I would watch one or two of the 16 mm films John would have schlepped from Brooklyn with John providing identification for the more obscure bit players. This group disbanded in the very early 2000s, but very occasionally I saw John for lunch with our friend Jane Klain.
    I wish him the best watching that “Big Movie Show in the Sky.”

  3. Before there was an IMDB, John Cocchi was a a living IMDB (albeit much more accurate). I was amazed at his ability to know the name of every actor on screen in every movie. It seemed like he was always scribbling notes, marking who’s in the cast, of every picture we screened at Joe’s Place or at Cinecon. I’ll never forget testing him one day, early in of my knowing him. I pointed to an unidentified man in a still photo with the Three Stooges. It was Lynton Brent. John told me Brent was one of the camera/reporters in King Kong, when Kong is agitated on stage; appeared in bits in The Adventures of Captain Marvel, The Masked Marvel, Batman and Captain America; henchmen in numerous B-Westerns and best yet, Mr. Amscray in the Stooges I’ll Never Heil Again! Whenever I see Brent in a film, I think of John. I also remember his mock “Hee-Hee-Hee” laugh when ever there was an on-screen in-joke or something so corny that a real laugh wasn’t required… John was generous with his knowledge of film and broad in his scope of cinematic interests. He will be missed.

  4. I knew John through my cousin, he was a great guy. Im saddened to hear the terrible news. RIP John.

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