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Charles ‘Chuck’ Low, Morrie in ‘Goodfellas,’ Dies at 89

Low was a real estate developer who was friends with Robert De Niro

Charles “Chuck” Low, a military vet turned real estate developer turned “Goodfellas” actor, died last month in New Jersey. He was 89.

He died peacefully in his sleep at a nursing home on Sept. 18 and was buried in Elmont, New York a few days later, according to a New York Times obituary published last week.

Low is best known for playing Morris “Morrie” Kessler, the wig salesman who borrowed money from the mob for his commercial and started telling everyone about it, in the 1990 Martin Scorsese film “Goodfellas.” He was a friend of Robert De Niro’s and appeared in other films with him, including “King of Comedy.”

Low was born in New York City in 1928. He attended the Norwich Military Academy in Northfield, Vermot and went on to serve in the Army for four years on active duty. He also served in the National Guard for eight years and the Army Reserve.

His next career was in the family business, selling marine instruments, but he then moved on to real estate, getting his license and starting his own company. He was passionate about history and old buildings, which led him to developing in Tribeca. He settled the instruments company there and began turning old buildings into living quarters.

That’s where he met De Niro, who was his tenant. This led to him getting cast in films. His first was a bit part in “King of Comedy,” the De Niro-starring dark comedy about a struggling comic who stalks and kidnaps a late-night host. His most memorable role was in “Goodfellas,” be he also appeared in “Once Upon a Time in America,” “The Mission,” and “Night in the City,” all starring De Niro.

“Chuck lived life to the fullest, with a wit, intelligence, and passion that was positive and contagious,” the New York Times obituary said.

Low is the third “Goodfellas” actor to die in recent months, following Frank Vincent and Frank PellegrinoMichael Ballhaus, the Oscar-nominated cinematographer on “Goodfellas,” also died in April.