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James Coco

James Coco

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Also Known As: Died: February 25, 1987
Born: March 21, 1930 Cause of Death: heart attack
Birth Place: Bronx, New York, USA Profession: actor, waiter, toy salesman, dishwasher, night clerk

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Rotund, comic supporting actor who after establishing himself as an Off-Broadway and Broadway star began to be cast in TV and film, yet never found "the perfect role" to catapult him into true star status. Coco often came off as fey and gluttonous in his TV and film portrayals, yet he was one of famed acting teacher Uta Hagen's star pupils and worshipped her in kind. He made an impact almost immediately after establishing himself -- after years of menial jobs -- on stage in "The Moon in the Yellow River" and did play after play until Neil Simon created the role of Barney Cashman specifically for Coco on "Last of the Red Hot Lovers" on Broadway, for which Coco received a Tony nomination. Coco began to get film roles after that and subsequently appeared less frequently on stage. He was in support of Liza Minnelli in "Tell Me What You Want, Junie Moon" in 1970, and Sancho Panza in the unsuccessful film adaptation of "Man of La Mancha" in 1972. His two best film roles came thanks to Neil Simon (again). In "Murder By Death" (1978) he was a Hercule Poirot take-off, and in "Only When I Laugh" he gave a sensitive and endearing performance as Jimmy Perino, friend to Marsha Mason but enabling her...

Rotund, comic supporting actor who after establishing himself as an Off-Broadway and Broadway star began to be cast in TV and film, yet never found "the perfect role" to catapult him into true star status. Coco often came off as fey and gluttonous in his TV and film portrayals, yet he was one of famed acting teacher Uta Hagen's star pupils and worshipped her in kind. He made an impact almost immediately after establishing himself -- after years of menial jobs -- on stage in "The Moon in the Yellow River" and did play after play until Neil Simon created the role of Barney Cashman specifically for Coco on "Last of the Red Hot Lovers" on Broadway, for which Coco received a Tony nomination. Coco began to get film roles after that and subsequently appeared less frequently on stage. He was in support of Liza Minnelli in "Tell Me What You Want, Junie Moon" in 1970, and Sancho Panza in the unsuccessful film adaptation of "Man of La Mancha" in 1972. His two best film roles came thanks to Neil Simon (again). In "Murder By Death" (1978) he was a Hercule Poirot take-off, and in "Only When I Laugh" he gave a sensitive and endearing performance as Jimmy Perino, friend to Marsha Mason but enabling her dependencies. He was Oscar-nominated for the latter. He was also known to the public for two TV series that won the critics but failed in the ratings: "Calucci's Department," in which he was the wisecracking head of an unemployment office, and "The Dumplings," in which he was the male half of a married couple who loved each other, didn't mind being chubby, and ran a lunch counter in an office building. Just before he died, Coco did two episodes of "Who's the Boss?" as Tony's ne'er-do-well father-in-law. Coco, who was known for his girth, often demonstrated recipes on talk shows and wrote a diet book.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 That's Adequate (1989) Max Roebling
2.
 Chair, The (1988) Dr Harold Woodhouse Langer
3.
 Stepford Children, The (1987) Mr Jamison
4.
 Hunk (1987) Dr D
5.
 There Must Be a Pony (1986) Merwin Trellis
6.
 Bradbury Trilogy, The (1985) John Braling ("Marionettes Inc")
7.
 The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984) (Cameo Appearance)
8.
 Only When I Laugh (1981) Jimmy Perino
9.
 Wholly Moses! (1980) Hyssop
10.
 Diary of Anne Frank, The (1980) Mr Van Daan
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Stage debut, "Old King Cole" at Clare Tree Majors Theatre
1957:
New York stage debut, "Hotel Paradiso"
1964:
Film acting debut, "Ensign Pulver"
1969:
Barney in "Last of the Red Hot Lovers" on Broadway
1972:
Sancho Panza in film version, "Man of La Mancha"
1974:
Series star, "Calucci's Department"
1976:
Series star, "The Dumplings"
1981:
Jimmy Perino in "Only When I Laugh"
1983:
Guest-starred on "St. Elsewhere"
:
Had recurring role on the ABC sitcom "Who's the Boss?" as Tony's father-in-law
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Herbert Berghof Studio: New York , New York -

Notes

Coco estimated that he had lost and regained hundreds and hundreds of pounds during his lifetime.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Feliche Coco.
mother:
Ida Detestes Coco.

Bibliography close complete biography

"The James Coco Diet Book"

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