Rocco Anacarola, the man behind famous nightclubs in New York City, has passed away at the age of 66 after a long battle with cancer. He was known as a “constant force of love” and was described as the greatest host on the planet by industry insiders. Anacarola was responsible for putting NYC hot spots like Lavo and Pink Elephant on the map.
Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, Anacarola was an Italian national who moved to New York in the 80s to pursue acting after high school. He was featured in Page Six for appearing in films like “Wall Street” and for dating former “The Real Housewives of New York City” star Sonja Morgan in recent years. In 2011, he suffered an aneurysm on Thanksgiving at Lavo, which led to two major heart surgeries that same year.
Anacarola was a fixture on Bravo’s “Real Housewives of New York City” when he dated Sonja Morgan. He told us at the time, “I have never been in the hospital in my life, and now I’ve had major surgery twice in two weeks. I have a problem with my heart valves… The doctor said if I had waited any longer to go to the emergency room I would have died.”
A group of nightlife players gathered at Bijoux last night to celebrate his life. His sister, Marilena, posted an update on Facebook. “Derek Banton – [his] childhood friend – slept at the hospital with Rocco. [Taking him off life support and] letting Rocco breathe on his own was the most difficult decision my siblings and I had to make,” she wrote, “He loved every person who phoned and visited; that kept him alive to fight the cancer.”
Entertainment, Celebrity, Lifestyle