Daniel J Travanti


Actor

About

Also Known As
Daniel John Travanti, Dan Travanty, Dan Travanti
Birth Place
Kenosha, Wisconsin, USA
Born
March 07, 1940

Biography

Although he has made it quite clear in interviews that he wishes to put his past Emmy-winning role as Captain Frank Furillo on NBC's "Hill Street Blues" (1981-87) behind him, Daniel J Travanti may well be remembered for that character who was the spine of what many consider one of the most celebrated TV dramas in history. While the dark-haired Wisconsin native lacked the conventional loo...

Notes

Like his "Hill Street Blues" character Captain Frank Furillo, Travanti is a recovering alcoholic.

"I've been doing mostly mediocre material. I might pretend to others that it was okay, but it wasn't." --Daniel J Travanti in USA Today, November 11, 1993.

Biography

Although he has made it quite clear in interviews that he wishes to put his past Emmy-winning role as Captain Frank Furillo on NBC's "Hill Street Blues" (1981-87) behind him, Daniel J Travanti may well be remembered for that character who was the spine of what many consider one of the most celebrated TV dramas in history. While the dark-haired Wisconsin native lacked the conventional looks of a leading man, he proved a capable performer, finding stage roles in NYC, including the 1965 New York Shakespeare Festival production of "Othello" with James Earl Jones and opposite Sada Thompson in the 1972 Broadway play "Twigs."

At the beginning of his career, the actor was often billed as Dan Travanty, including many of his early TV credits as a guest performer on such series as "Route 66," "The Patty Duke Show," "East Side/West Side" and "Gidget." He continued as a journeyman actor throughout the 70s, making the occasional foray in features (e.g., "St. Ives" 1976) but predominantly continuing his string of guest roles in drama and sitcoms. After turning 40, Travanti found himself an "overnight success" thanks to Steven Bochco who tapped him for the anchor role of Furillo. He brought the needed gravity to the role but also displayed a romantic side in his scenes with Veronica Hamel. Capitalizing on his new-found fame, Travanti began starring in several TV-movies, most notably "Adam" (NBC, 1983), in which he was cast as John Walsh, the father who, after his son is kidnapped and murdered, founded an organization to help locate missing children. (He reprised the role in the 1986 sequel "Adam: His Song Continues.") He had the title role in one of HBO's first original movies, the biopic "Murrow" (1986), focusing on the career of the legendary news commentator Edward R. Murrow. After "Hill Street" left the airwaves, Travanti seemingly retreated from the public, attempting to downplay his celebrity and distance himself from being forever associated with Furillo. In 1990, he was a corporate executive who seeks revenge against a spy agency in "Tagget" (USA Network) and later played the husband of an alcoholic in "My Name is Kate" (ABC, 1994). Travanty briefly returned to series work twice; starring as the head of a special Chicago police unit in "Missing Persons" (ABC, 1993) and joining the cast of Showtime's "Poltergeist: The Legacy" for the 1995-96 season as the head of the team investigating paranormal activity.

Life Events

1963

Headed to New York City after six-month army stint

1964

Had early TV work in episodes of "Route 66", "East Side/West Side" and "The Patty Duke Show"

1965

Appeared with James Earl Jones in heralded production of "Othello"

1965

Early film appearance in "Who Killed Teddy Bear?"

1970

TV-movie debut in "The Love War" (ABC)

1971

Had small role in feature "The Organization" (billed as Dan Travanty)

1979

Appeared briefly on the ABC soap opera "General Hospital"

1983

Portrayed John Walsh in the NBC TV-movie "Adam"

1985

Starred in the HBO film "Murrow"

1986

Reprised his role as John Walsh in the sequel "Adam: His Song Continues" (NBC)

1988

Returned to the stage to tour in "I Never Sang for My Father"; production was filmed for airing on PBS

1988

Had leading film role opposite Faye Dunaway in "Midnight Crossing"

1989

Portrayed Brooklyn district attorney Charles Hynes in "Howard Beach: Making the Case for Murder" (NBC)

1996

Played thorn in Sidney Poitier's side in "To Sir With Love II" (CBS)

2000

Returned to the stage in a production of "Old Wicked Songs" at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego

2000

Had supporting role in the festival screened independent "Something Sweet"

2002

Appeared in the Sundance-screened feature "Design"

Family

John Travanti
Father
Elvira Travanti
Mother

Bibliography

Notes

Like his "Hill Street Blues" character Captain Frank Furillo, Travanti is a recovering alcoholic.

"I've been doing mostly mediocre material. I might pretend to others that it was okay, but it wasn't." --Daniel J Travanti in USA Today, November 11, 1993.

"'Hill Street Blues' gets over mentioned. I can't help that. It is a very interesting yet difficult situation to be in. Most of my career I was not well known so the success element does not loom large in my life. However, my role on the series will always be the turning point, the melodramatic movie magazine switch that people like to hear about ... It does bother me but it is inevitable and unavoidable, and I just do the best I can with it and move on to other projects." --Daniel J. Travanti