(PCM) We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of veteran actor Abe Vigoda at the age of 94. Abe Vigoda who played over the hill Detective Phil Fish on the sitcom “ Barney Miller” and Mafia lieutenant Sal Tessio in The Godfather movie, died Tuesday morning at his daughter Carol’s residence in New Jersey.
The success of the “Godfather” movies in the 70’s eventually led Vigoda to the sitcom “Barney Miller”. The series ran from 1972-84. Vigoda was on the show until 1977. He was nominated for three Emmy’s for his performance as Detective Fisk on the show who was always complaining about his aches and pains.
Vigoda was born in 1921. He grew up on New York’s Lower East Side. He was the son of a tailor who studied acting at the American Theatre Wing and played characters parts for much of his early career. Vigoda established himself as a successful theater actor in the 1960’s. Francis Ford Coppola, the director of “The Godfather” took a liking to Vigoda on the stage and cast him in his movie. The rest in cinema history.
Vigoda was sort of an internet sensation when it was reported by People Magazine in 2008 that he had passed away. But he lived on for many more years and made fun of the magazines mistake.
Vigoda would go onto act in many more movies after his success with “The Godfather” including: “Cannonball Run”, (1984) with Burt Reynolds. “Look Who’s Talking” (1989) with John Travolta and Kristie Alley, “Joe Versus the Volcano” (1990) with Tom Hanks. And 1997 film “Good Burger”.
Vigoda was married to his wife Beatrice for 24 years until her death in 1992. They had one daughter, Carol. Our sincere condolence go out to Abe Vigoda’s family and friends during this incredibly difficult time.