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Star of Stage and Screen Abe Vigoda Dies at 94


The Hollywood Reporter reports the sad news that Abe Vigoda, best known for his roles as mobster Tessio in THE GODFATHER and Detective Sgt. Fish in the TV comedy BARNEY MILLER, has passed away at age 94. The actor died in his New Jersey home of natural causes, his daughter, Carol Vigoda Fuchs told the Associated Press.

Vigoda gained acting notability in the 1960s with his work in Broadway productions, including MARAT/SADE (1967) playing "Mad Animal", THE MAN IN THE GLASS BOOTH (1968) playing "Landau", INQUEST (1970), and TOUGH TO GET HELP(1972). His other Broadway credits included 1986's ARSENIC AN OLD LACE and the role of Murray the Cop in the 1991 revival of Neil Simon's THE ODD COUPLE.

His best-known film role is that of elder mobster Salvatore Tessio in The Godfather (1972). He also appeared briefly in The Godfather Part II in a flashback sequence at the end of the film. He gained further fame playing Detective Sgt. Phil Fish on Barney Miller, a character known for his world-weary demeanor.

Vigoda starred alongside Florence Stanley and Todd Bridges in a brief spinoff of Barney Miller that centered on his character, called FISH. Before Barney Miller, he made a few appearances on the ABC TV soap Dark Shadows as Ezra Braithwaite and Otis Greene. Other TV credits include NBC's telefilm Witness to the Mob and appearances on The Rockford Files, Toma, Kojak,Cannon, Vegas, Fantasy Island, The Love Boat, Family Guy, The Norm Show, As the World Turns and Santa Barbara.

His film work includes The Don Is Dead (1973), Prancer (1989), Look Who's Talking(1989), Joe Versus the Volcano (1990), Sugar Hill (1993), Jury Duty (1995), Good Burger (1997),Chump Change (2000) and Crime Spree (2003).

Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos

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