Confusing Joe Restivos

Some mix-ups can be avoided, but this one can probably slide. After news of the recent death of former comedian and restauranteur Joe Restivo, 54, another Joe Restivo, an actor-comedian of the same age, had some phone calls to answer.

Restivo said he was touched to hear from so many old friends, one being Howie Mandel, who was on the phone in tears offering condolences to his wife. But the news prompted a film crew to scrap him from a movie he was being cast in because they thought he was dead.

His role in an upcoming Roger Corman film was later restored, however.

The deceased Restivo owned the famous Vitello’s restaurant, a celebrity hangout in Studio City that was thrust into the spotlight in 2001 when Robert Blake’s wife was found shot to death in the actor’s car after the couple had dined there.