(RNN) – Abe Vigoda, a character actor who portrayed a mobster inThe Godfather and a detective in the Barney Miller television series, died at his home Tuesday, according to his family. He was 94 years old.
The Associated Press reported that Vigoda’s daughter, Carol Vigoda Fuchs, said he died at his Woodland Park, NJ, home in his sleep.
Vigoda was born in Brooklyn, NY, on Feb. 21, 1921, as Abraham Charles Vigoda to Jewish immigrants from Russia. Over the years, the tall and slouch shouldered actor often had Mafioso-type roles, and he was acting into his eighties.
He had his best-known film role as the elder mobster Sal Tessio inThe Godfather (1972). He briefly appeared in The Godfather Part II(1974) in a flashback sequence.
He gained acclaim for dramatic and comedic roles on stage, film and television after beginning to act professionally in 1947 and working in small theater shows for more than 20 years.
In Barney Miller (1975-1982), Vigoda played Detective Sgt. Fish, a cranky, New York City veteran nearing retirement and suffering from hemorrhoids. His character, a good detective, mentored other squad members.
Media, at least twice, mistakenly reported he had died. The actor humorously embraced running gags about his death.
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R.I.P. Abe Vigoda (“Barney Miller,” “Godfather”) Dies at 94 was originally published on wzakcleveland.com