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Rocky Roberts, 66; Ex-Boxer Made a Hit Record, Movie in Italy

January 16, 2005|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Rocky Roberts, 66, a former boxer who became a one-hit singing sensation in Italy, died Saturday in a Rome hospital of lung cancer.

Born Charlie Roberts in Miami, he worked for a decade as a boxer in the U.S. before an injury ended his career. He went to Europe while serving in the military in the 1960s and settled in Italy.

In 1967, Roberts became an overnight star with "Stasera Mi Butto" ("I Will Try Tonight"), which he sang in Italian. The song was so successful that a movie was produced with the same title, starring Roberts.

He also appeared in variety shows on Italian TV. As a skillful dancer who always wore sunglasses, Roberts set several fashion trends for Italian youth.

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