Eagle Archives, May 3, 1955: Fortini rejects movie role in favor of driving truck

Dominick Fortini, the local man who apparently handles a gambling house croupier’s stick with as much ease as the hydraulic levers of a Euclid dump wagon, has given up a chance to play in the movies in favor of driving a truck. The 46-year-old Pittsfield man’s “gambling face” won him a part in a forthcoming movie, “The Phenix City Story,” a movie that is supposed to document crime and corruption in an Alabama community. But after considerable thinking on the matter, which produced more soliloquizing than a Shakespearean headliner’s, Dominick decided that a strategic withdrawal was in order.

“What the heck,” he rationalized this morning on a stool at the Bridge Lunch. “I’m going to work tomorrow on the turnpike job with Perini’s in West Stockbridge. I’ll make myself a C-note a week for months to come. For the movie gimmick, they offered me a flat £400 for four days’ work, but that means I’ve got to travel to location, and then I don’t even know when they’ll shoot my scenes or how long it’ll take to do that four days’ work.

It might take a month the way they operate.” Fortini, who is an AFL construction teamster, has been advised by the union business agent, James W. Bushey, that he will go to work this week.

He will be assigned to a Euclid, a gigantic truck that can handle about 14 yards of earth. It pays £2.20 an hour, time and a half for overtime, of which there will be plenty. Just on a lark several weeks ago, Fortini, who was then working in Columbus, Ga., and a friend took screen tests for a gambler’s role while Allied Artists were casting for extras in near-by Phenix City.

His face and his manner at a crap table and a roulette wheel won him a part.