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Sunday, December 8, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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‘Rockford Files’ star Joe Santos dies at 84

Actor Joe Santos appears March 18, 1980, on the set of the NBC-TV comedy series “Me and Maxx,” in Los Angeles. (Wally Fong / Associated Press)
Actor Joe Santos appears March 18, 1980, on the set of the NBC-TV comedy series “Me and Maxx,” in Los Angeles. (Wally Fong / Associated Press)
Associated Press

NEW YORK – Joe Santos, who played Lieutenant Dennis Becker on “The Rockford Files,” has died at 84.

Santos died Friday in Santa Monica, California, after a heart attack earlier in the week, according to his agent Alicia Beekman.

Santos’ career spanned more than four decades, from a guest shot on “Naked City” in the early 1960s through a recurring role on “The Sopranos.”

But he was best known as Lieutenant Becker, the pal and grudging helpmate of L.A. private eye Jim Rockford (James Garner) on NBC’s “The Rockford Files,” which aired from 1974 to 1980 and scored him an Emmy nomination.

The New York-born actor also had guest roles on such series as “Magnum, P.I.,” “Miami Vice” and “Hardcastle & McCormick.”

Santos most recently was seen in the 2015 film “Chronic.”

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