US actor Charles Rocket commits suicide

posted 2005-10-18 14:45:38 by DaveM

BOSTON -- Actor Charles Rocket, whose unscripted profanity on "Saturday Night Live" in 1981 cost him his network television job, has committed suicide by cutting his throat, police said on Monday.

Rocket, 56, was found dead behind his Connecticut residence on October 7 with his throat slashed, said Connecticut State Police Sgt. J. Paul Vance.

"There was no criminal aspect to this case. The post-mortem showed he had committed suicide by cutting his throat with a knife," Vance said.

Rocket, whose real name was Charles Claverie, was a cast member of NBC's late-night comedy show, "Saturday Night Live," during the 1980-81 season.

He lost his job after he appeared in a parody of the U.S. television show "Dallas" and its famous "Who Shot J.R.?" episode.

After Rocket's character was shot, he uttered the obscenity while saying he'd like to know who did it. Viewers complained and NBC issued an apology.

Rocket, fellow cast members Gilbert Gottfried and Ann Risley, and four of the show's writers were then dismissed.

His movie credits included "Earth Girls are Easy," "How I Got Into College," "Dumb & Dumber" and "Dances With Wolves." He also played a role in the 1980s television series "Max Headroom" and provided voices for several cartoon characters.

Rocket is survived by his wife, Beth, and son, Zane.