Steve Restivo, Actor and Co-Owner of Studio City Restaurant Vitello’s, Dies at 81

·2-min read

Steve Restivo, an actor and former co-owner of Vitello’s Restaurant in Studio City, Calif., died on Nov. 5 at West Hills Hospital after a year-long battle with lung cancer and complications from COVID-19, his son Roy confirmed. He was 81.

Restivo was an actor for over 50 years. He was known for frequent roles as one of Garry Marshall’s acting troupe alongside Hector Elizondo and Larry Miller, appearing in films including “Nothing in Common” (1986), “Beaches” (1988), “Pretty Woman” (1990), “Frankie and Johnny” (1991), “Exit to Eden” (1994), “The Other Sister” (1999), “The Princess Diaries” (2001), “Raising Helen” (2004) and “The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement” (2004). He also guest-starred in television shows such as “Quincy M.E.,” “Cover Up,” “Remington Steele,” “Nowhere Man” and “The New Adam-12.”

He and his brother Joe Restivo had owned Vitello’s for nearly 30 years before the murder of Bonny Lee Bakley, the wife of Emmy-winning actor Robert Blake, outside the restaurant in 2001. Blake was charged with Bakley’s murder in 2002 but ultimately a jury found him not guilt of the crimes, including conspiracy and special circumstances of lying in wait, in 2005, leaving Bakley’s killing officially unsolved.

The murder gave the restaurant a certain notoriety, and it saw a large increase in customers and fame with tour-bus companies adding the location as a stop as well as several mentions on television. Restivo was interviewed about the scandalous murder case on TV programs such as “Dateline” and “Marcia Clark Investigates The First 48.”

The Restivos sold Vitello’s in 2005 and his brother, co-owner Joe Restivo, died in 2006.

In addition to his son Roy, Restivo is survived by his wife Sara, his sons Vince and Steve Jr., his brother Salvatore and his sister Lucy Ricciardone. Memorial services will be held Dec. 10 at 12:30 p.m. at Church of the Hills at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Hollywood Hills.

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