Character actor Abe Vigoda has passed away, January 26, 2016, age 94, at his home in Woodland Park, New Jersey, just a month a shy of his 95th birthday. The leather faced, jowly actor who is most famously known for his portrayal of old-timer mob soldier Salvatore Tessio in Francis Ford Coppola‘s “The Godfather,” reported passed away in his sleep.
He was born Abraham Charles Vigoda on February 24, 1921 in Brooklyn, New York to Jewish immigrants from Russia. Vigoda started acting in his teens and attended the Theater School of Dramatic Arts at Carnegie Hall. He gained notability as an actor on Broadway in the 1960s. He appeared onstage in such productions as Marat/Sade, The Man in the Glass Booth, The Inquest, and Tough to Get Help.
He is was also known for his role as Detective Sgt. Phil fish on the 1970s American sitcom Barney Miller. He was a regular on the show from 1975 until 1977 when his character was spun off into its own series. The storyline for the new series center around his personal life and five street kids that he and his wife took in.
Mr. Vigoda remained a character actor through-out his career and you can find him film such as, Look Who’s Talking, Cannonball Run II, North, Jury Duty, and more. This sad-eyed stage and screen actor will me missed. So long Abe Vigoda, you will live on through your work.
And just for a fond memory and giggle, watch Mr. Vigoda in action with Betty White in this Snickers Superbowl Commercial from 2010.