Tue, Jul 13, 2010 - Page 7 News List

Son of infamous mobster Spillane falls to his death

THE GUARDIAN , NEW YORK

The actor son of infamous New York mobster Mickey Spillane has fallen to his death from a sixth-floor Manhattan apartment after apparently leaning out of a window to call to his brother on the street below.

Robert “Bobby” Spillane, who had roles in television series such as NYPD Blue and Law & Order, fell from his home in the Hell’s Kitchen area of the city on Saturday morning, police said.

Spillane’s Irish-American father was known as the last “gentleman gangster” before he was shot dead in 1977 by rivals in the Westies gang who ran rackets for decades throughout New York. After his murder, the Westies became dominated by more violent gangsters.

Robert Spillane, 45, had his arm in a sling and was leaning against a screen on a partially open window when he fell, relatives said.

“The screen gave out,” his uncle Jim McManus said. “He only had one arm and he went out with the screen.”

McManus described his nephew’s death as a “terribly sad accident.”

Police and medics were called to Hell’s Kitchen about 7:45am. Robert Spillane was pronounced dead at the scene.

Mickey Spillane was a notorious figure in the 1960s and 1970s who vied with Italian Mafia bosses for prominence in New York’s criminal underworld.

In an article about his funeral in the New York Times, Mickey Spillane was described by a detective as “a very strong enforcer, a handsome, black-haired tough guy out of the movies.”

He was often asked if he was any relation of the crime writer of the same name. He was not.

Robert Spillane never moved far from his family’s roots in the old neighborhood near the Broadway theater district.

A few years ago, Spillane drew on the lore from his father’s time to write an off-Broadway play called All Dolled Up about a cross-dressing gangster in the 1960s.

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