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'Rockford Files' regular Joe Santos dies at 84

'Rockford Files' regular Joe Santos dies at 84
Actor Joe Santos appears on the set of the NBC-TV comedy series 'Me and Maxx,' in Los Angeles. (Wally Fong / Associated Press)

Joe Santos, who played Lt. Dennis Becker on "The Rockford Files," has died at 84.

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

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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 Dennis Becker, the pal and grudging helpmate of Los Angeles 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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