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|Also Known As:||Franco Puglia||Died:||October 25, 1975|
|Born:||March 9, 1892||Cause of Death:|
|Birth Place:||Italy||Profession:||Cast ... actor|
When he was just 13 years old, Frank Puglia was appearing in Italian operas. When he was 15, in 1907, he left Italy and came to the United States and, soon after, joined an Italian opera company there. In 1921, while he was performing in a production of the stage drama "The Two Orphans," he was spotted by the legendary director D.W. Griffith, who hired him to reprise the role in the film version of the play, entitled "Orphans of the Storm." In the original play, Puglia's character dies in the end sequence, but in Griffith's movie, test audiences did not react well to the death, so the ending was reshot, with the character surviving. Puglia often capitalized on his Italian heritage by playing a variety of "ethnic" roles. He could be seen playing characters like waiters, soldiers, gangsters, musicians, and priests. He appeared in over 150 roles. One of his most memorable characters was a Moroccan rug vendor in Humphrey Bogart's most famous film, "Casablanca," in 1942. Some other films he appeared in include "Jungle Book" in 1942, "The Phantom of the Opera" in 1943, and "20 Million Miles to Earth" in 1957.
TLS ( 2006-05-03 )
Source: The Stars of Hollywood Forever: 1901-2006
Puglia started his career at age fifteen when he joined a traveling operetta company. He came to the U.S. in 1907 and worked in a laundry before joining an Italian language theatre group in New York. In 1921, while appearing on stage, was spotted by D.W. Griffith and hired immediately. Puglia played a number of ethnic roles throughout his career, as well as frequently playing priests, diplomats and musicians.
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