This post is for Beth!
In my top 5 favorite movies of all time is Casino. Guess Marty Scorsese and I go way back. Most people know the true back story behind Goodfellas and the fictional similarities to real life characters in The Godfather but most know little about the real people in Casino. I thought I add a bit from the internet on the real players in CASINO.
Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal (Ace Rothstein Robert DeNiro part)
Read the great book Casino by Nicolas Pileggi who also wrote Wiseguy.
Franks's Very Cool Website is HERE
Written by Nicholas Pileggi
For much of his professional life, the Chicago-born and casino-bred, Rosenthal has been the country's top handicapper. He was one of a handful of men who literally set the line for thousands of bookmakers from coast to coast.
During the 1970's, and early eighties, Rosenthal ran four Las Vegas casinos simultaneously, including the world famous Stardust Hotel and Casino. Rosenthal is also credited with creating the first Race & Sports book (Parlor) in Las Vegas.
Despite resistance from the traditional casino bosses, who believed exclusively in terms of table games, Rosenthal had spent decades in and around the sports world to know that it could be the mother lode of casino betting. He created a space-age theater-like Race and Sports book at the Stardust Hotel & Casino that was copied by every casino on the strip. Few if any people knew more about the world of gambling than Frank Rosenthal.
Anthony “The Ant” Spilotro and wife Nancy
Anthony Spilotro, Protégé of Mad Sam DeStefano made his bones in 1962 when he put small time burglar Billy McCarthy's head in a vise and cranked it tighter and tighter until one of his eyes popped out. “The Ant” Later became the outfits man in Vegas and Basis for the Nicky Santurro character played by Joe Pesci in the movie Casino he would also eventually whack Mad Sam.
Geri McGee Rosenthal
Wife of Las Vegas sports handicapper, Frank Rosenthal. Born Geraldine "Geri" McGee, she met Anthony Spilotro, the best friend of Frank Rosenthal, at a gambling convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey, where she began an affair with him. She made her living as a "chip girl" (a good looking woman who hustled gamblers for a chip or two in exchange for temporary companionship) and as a part time topless dancer and occasional prostitute, hanging around the high rolling gamblers in the casinos, where she would move from gambler to gambler. Anthony Spilotro, who introduced Frank to Geri, and soon they were were a couple.
Frank did a very successful TV show while in Vegas much to the disapproval of the upper management of the mob. Great interview with Frank HERE
Though Ant and his brother died a horrible beating death and Geri died young from a suspected hot dose of heroin. Frank died at age 79 while living in south Florida.
Frank states on his website that the torture scene in the movie was accurate. Yuck! Read more on his website. How exciting Frank had the great promoter sense to build a fabulous website before he died. WHAT A LIFE!