Ray Sharkey began appearing in films and television in the 1970s. Often playing the heavy, his breakthrough film was 1980's The Idolmaker. He is perhaps best known as mobster Sonny Steelgrave in TV's Wiseguy. Arrested in 1992 for drug posession, Sharkey stated later that year that he had contracted AIDS through indiscriminate drug use. Less than a year later he passed away.