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Vincent Gardenia

Vincent Gardenia

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Also Known As: Vincente Scognamiglio Died: December 9, 1992
Born: January 7, 1922 Cause of Death: heart attack
Birth Place: Italy Profession: actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Short, stocky character player whose furrowed brow, hawk nose and hearty manner made him an instantly recognizable figure on stage, screen and TV from the late 1950s. Starting as a professional actor in his mid-30s, Gardenia played supporting roles on Broadway in "Volpone" (1957), "Only in America" (1959) and "Seidman and Son" (1962) and in films including "The Hustler" (1961, playing a bartender) and "Mad Dog Coll" (1961, playing Dutch Schultz). He won a Tony for his performance in Neil Simon's "The Prisoner of Second Avenue" in 1972 and earned a New York Film Critics Award and his first Oscar nomination as the baseball team manager in "Bang the Drum Slowly" (1973). His second nomination came as Cher's philandering father in "Moonstruck" (1987). Gardenia appeared in many other Simon plays including "God's Favorite," in a role written specially for him by the playwright. He is perhaps best known as Archie Bunker's loquacious, ever-singing, culinary buff neighbor Frank Lorenzo on the CBS perennial, "All in the Family." Gardenia spent a considerable portion of his career playing huffy but good-hearted police officers, detectives, and station captains in TV movies including "Cops" (1973), "Muggable...

Short, stocky character player whose furrowed brow, hawk nose and hearty manner made him an instantly recognizable figure on stage, screen and TV from the late 1950s. Starting as a professional actor in his mid-30s, Gardenia played supporting roles on Broadway in "Volpone" (1957), "Only in America" (1959) and "Seidman and Son" (1962) and in films including "The Hustler" (1961, playing a bartender) and "Mad Dog Coll" (1961, playing Dutch Schultz). He won a Tony for his performance in Neil Simon's "The Prisoner of Second Avenue" in 1972 and earned a New York Film Critics Award and his first Oscar nomination as the baseball team manager in "Bang the Drum Slowly" (1973). His second nomination came as Cher's philandering father in "Moonstruck" (1987).

Gardenia appeared in many other Simon plays including "God's Favorite," in a role written specially for him by the playwright. He is perhaps best known as Archie Bunker's loquacious, ever-singing, culinary buff neighbor Frank Lorenzo on the CBS perennial, "All in the Family."

Gardenia spent a considerable portion of his career playing huffy but good-hearted police officers, detectives, and station captains in TV movies including "Cops" (1973), "Muggable Mary: Street Cop" (1982), "The Dark Mirror" (1984) and "Brass" (1985), and films such as "Heaven Can Wait" (1978). His final film appearance was as the father of Joe Pesci in "The Super" (1991).

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Super, The (1991) Big Lou Kritski
2.
 Tragedy of Flight 103, The (1990) Harry Pizer
3.
 Skin Deep (1989) Barney
4.
 Cavalli Si Nasce (1989)
5.
 Age-Old Friends (1989) Michael Aylott
6.
 Moonstruck (1987) Cosmo Castorini
7.
 Little Shop of Horrors (1986) Mushnik
8.
 Movers And Shakers (1985) Saul Gritz
9.
 Brass (1985) Chief Mike Maldonato
10.
 Dark Mirror (1984) Detective Al Church
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Milestones close milestones

1924:
Family emigrated to the US when Gardenia was two; settled in Brooklyn (date approximate)
1927:
Played first (amateur) stage role at age five at the Fifth Avenue Theatre in Brooklyn, a shoeshine boy in "Shoe Shine"
:
Served as a private in the US Army
1945:
Appeared in a bit part as one of the trainee spies in "The House on 92nd Street"; uncredited
:
Was active as a nonprofessional in New York's Italian-language theatre
1956:
Enjoyed a career breakthrough with the role of Piggy in the off-Broadway production of "The Man with the Golden Arm"
1958:
Returned to feature films; played first notable film role in "Cop Hater"
1958:
First acted on Broadway in "The Visit"
:
Portrayed Frank Lorenzo on popular CBS sitcom, "All in the Family"
:
Played Ray Stohler on the ABC comedy drama, "Breaking Away" (based on the film of the same name)
1983:
Played J. Edgar Hoover in the NBC mini-series, "Kennedy"
1987:
Was featured as Cher's father in "Moonstruck"
1992:
Was appearing onstage in "Breaking Legs" in Philadelphia at the time of his death
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Notes

Gardenia has also received two Oscar nominations as Best Supporting Actor for his work in "Bang the Drum Slowly" (1973) and "Moonstruck" (1987) and a Tony nomination as Outstanding Actor in a Musical for Michael Bennett's "Ballroom" (1979).

Family close complete family listing

father:
Gennaro Gardenia Scognamiglio. Actor, singer.
mother:
Elisa Scognamiglio.

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