Actor Abe Vigoda, known as the ‘Godfather’ role, dies at age 94

vigodaAbe Vigoda, an American actor known for his roles in “The Godfather” and the 1970s sitcom “Barney Miller,” died Tuesday at age 94, after spending three decades in jest refute rumors of its demise.

Daughter of Vigoda , Carol Fuchs Vigoda, said his father died at his home in New Jersey. “He died in his sleep of natural causes. He was not sick,” she told Reuters.

Vigoda, who was an expert in drama and comedy with a wing dog face, stooped posture and slow delivery, played traitor mobster Salvatore Tessio in “The Godfather” in 1972, his first credited role in the film.

His character was condemned for betraying the Corleone family in the film, but had a small role in the flashback scenes of “The Godfather II” two years later.

Her most famous role was as Detective moody and without Sergeant Phil Fish in crime comedy series “Barney Miller”. It took three nominations for supporting actor Emmy for the role.

Vigoda amicably spent years showing that he was still alive after People magazine mistakenly declared “late Abe Vigoda” in 1982, when he was 62. The question of his death became a joke that he learned to live with it.

To refute the People report, he posed for a photo sitting on a coffin. His condition life-and-death became a joke often revised his appearances on late night talk show Conan O’Brien and a play on the Late Show with David Letterman, who curtly advised the host, “No I’m dead, however, that the pinhead! “

Vigoda also had roles in films where his longevity was the joke and also appeared with well-seasoned actress Betty White in a commercial during the Super Bowl in February 2010. website is simply created to give your status – “Abe Vigoda is alive” – above a photo of the actor and a date / time stamp.On Tuesday was changed to “Abe Vigoda is dead.”

Born in the city of New York on February 24, 1921, Charles Vigodah Abraham was the son of Jewish immigrants from Russia. His father was a tailor.

He had his first role on stage at age 17 and dropping the “H” of his name on the road, had a moderate success in the theater and on television through the 1960s.

Vigoda was over 50 when he got his break in “The Godfather.” In an interview with CNN, Vigoda recalls being summoned to the office of director Francis Ford Coppola in an open casting.

“It seems that I had seen in a play or plays,” Vigoda said, adding that one of the reasons Coppola “was interested in me was that nobody knew my face.”

Vigoda said the lead role opposite Marlon Brando, Al Pacino and James Caan in one of the best Hollywood movies changed his life.

From there, Vigoda moved to the “Barney Miller” series.

“I got the part because the producer thought he looked tired,” Vigoda said. “But I looked tired because he had been jogging in the day.”

In a typical line of “Barney Miller” Fish complained about the effects of age: “Do you know what it feels like to be running down the street 43 and your partner turns a guy on 52nd Do you know how I I heard what happened? I asked a reporter. Four radio stations they beat me to the scene of the crime. “

Unlike the creaky, lethargic fish Vigoda was a vigorous man who played handball regularly and was still running in his 80s.

Vigoda worked in television and movies well into their 80s. His other work includes the films “Good Burger,” “Joe Versus the Volcano”, “Look Who’s Talking” and “Cannonball Run”.

He also appeared in television series such as “wings” “Soap,” “The Rockford Files” and the vampire soap opera “Dark Shadows.”