Joseph Bologna (December 30, 1934 – August 13, 2017) was an American actor, playwright and screenwriter notable for his roles in the comedy films My Favorite Year and Transylvania 6-5000.
Life and career
Bologna was born in Brooklyn, New York to an Italian-American family. He attended Brown University, where he majored in art history. Bologna served a tour of duty with the United States Marine Corps. Bologna was hired to produce and direct Manhattan-based TV commercials.
Bologna enjoyed a long run in film and television. His breakthrough film, Lovers and Other Strangers, adapted with his wife Renée Taylor from a play they co-wrote, was based on the true-life circumstances of organizing a wedding on short notice with the involvement of his Italian extended family and her Jewish clan. Several relatives performed as extras in the final cut. The couple shared an Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay. A year later, in 1971, the couple again collaborated to write and perform in the movie Made for Each Other.
Bologna stayed close with his old-neighborhood aunts and uncles after becoming successful. Two of them were slightly famous on their own: his Uncle Pat was "Blacky the Bootblack", whom Joseph Kennedy credited as his main influence when he sold all of his stock holdings in the summer of 1929 (the market crashed in October), and his aunt Pauline was one of the best-known celebrity chefs, working for Jackie Gleason, Burt Reynolds and many other luminaries.
Bologna's aunt Pauline chastised him for starring in the nudity-containing Blame It on Rio, starring Michael Caine. Bologna replied, "Blame it on me, it's the last time I invite Aunt Pauline to a film premiere." In 1976 he starred in the television drama What Now, Catherine Curtis? with Lucille Ball. Other film roles for Bologna include playing the brother of James Caan's widowed protagonist in Neil Simon's 1979 romance Chapter Two, portraying the Sid Caesar-based character King Kaiser in the 1982 comedy hit My Favorite Year, starring Peter O'Toole as drunken movie star Alan Swann, modeled after Errol Flynn and as Lenny Koufax, the frustrated father of Sonny Koufax (Adam Sandler) in the 1999 comedy Big Daddy.
In 1987, Bologna starred in the TV musical sitcom Rags to Riches as the millionaire mogul turned foster father Nick Foley. The show aired for two seasons.
He played the mad scientist Dr. Malavaqua in the 1985 comedy Transylvania 6-5000.
From 1996 to 1998, he voice-acted the character Inspector Dan Turpin, a hot-headed police officer modeled after Jack Kirby, in several episodes of Superman: The Animated Series.
In 2006, he became the voice of Mr. Start in Ice Age: The Meltdown.
He and wife, Renée Taylor, had a son, Gabriel. Taylor and Bologna also starred together on stage and on television. Bologna played a love interest for his real-life wife in the "Maternal Affairs" episode of the CBS sitcom The Nanny in the sixth and final season in which Taylor plays Sylvia, the already-married mother of Fran Drescher's character. He also appeared in the first-season episode "The Gym Teacher" as a famous actor for whom Maxwell Sheffield once interned.
From 2012 until before his death in 2017 Bologna appeared in numerous TV and motion picture leading and guest starring roles, including roles on NCIS, Funny or Die, stage productions and national commercials.
In 2017, Bologna received the Night of 100 Stars Oscar Gala Lifetime Achievement Award from actor comedian Richard Lewis and his peers to celebrate his 60-year career and for his efforts to help save the Motion Picture Home and Hospital in 2012.
- Made for Each Other (1971) — Giggy
- Honor Thy Father (1973) — Salvatore (Bill) Bonanno
- Acts of Love and Other Comedies (1973) — Arthur Hellman
- Cops & Robbers (1973) — Joe
- Mixed Company (1974) — Pete
- What Now, Catherine Curtis? (1976) — Peter
- The Big Bus (1976) — Dan Torrance
- Woman of the Year (1976) — Sam Rodino
- Torn Between Two Lovers (1979) — Ted Conti
- Chapter Two (1979) — Leo Schneider
- My Favorite Year (1982) — Stan "King" Kaiser
- One Cooks, the Other Doesn't (1983) — Max Boone
- The Joe Piscopo Special (1984) — Rev. Jimmy
- Bedrooms (1984) — Host / Bill / David
- Blame It on Rio (1984) — Victor Lyons
- The Woman in Red (1984) — Joey
- Transylvania 6-5000 (1985) — Dr. Malavaqua
- Copacabana (1985) — Rico Castelli
- A Time to Triumph (1986) — Chuck Hassan
- Sins (1986) — Steve Bryant
- Rags to Riches (1987–1988) — Nick Foley
- Not Quite Human (1987) — Gordon Vogel
- It Had to Be You (1989) — Vito Pignoli
- Coupe de Ville (1990) — Uncle Phil
- Alligator II: The Mutation (1991) — David Hodges
- Married... with Children (1991) — Charlie Verducci
- Top of the Heap (1991) — Charlie Verducci
- Citizen Cohn (1992) — Walter Winchell
- Jersey Girl (1992) — Bennie
- Murder, She Wrote (1992) — Brynie Sullivan
- Daddy Dearest (1993) — Dr. Di Napoli
- Deadly Rivals (1993) — Anthony Canberra
- L.A. Law (1994) — Jack Barbara
- Revenge of the Nerds IV: Nerds in Love (1994) — Aaron Humphrey
- Night of the Archer (1994) — Reggie
- The Nanny (1994–1999) — Alan Beck / Dr. Joe Razzo
- Caroline in the City (1996) — Lou Spadaro
- Love Is All There Is (1996) — Mike Capomezzo
- Ringer (1996) — Goldstein
- Worlds's Finest (1996) — SCU Lt. Dan Turpin
- Superman: The Animated Series (1997–1999) — SCU Lt. Dan Turpin
- Jenny (1998) — Bernie
- Big Daddy (1999) — Lenny Koufax
- Blink of an Eye (1999) — Renfro
- Martial Law (1999) — Alistair Temple
- Dying on the Edge (2001) — Cal Roman
- Returning Mickey Stern (2002) — Mickey Stern
- The Chris Isaak Show (2002) — Uncle Corky
- Arliss (2002)
- Pledge of Allegiance (2003) — Principal Pugliese
- Jane Doe: Til Death Do Us Part (2005) — Louis Angelini
- Everwood (2005) — Max Barrett
- Boynton Beach Club (2005) — Harry
- Ice Age: The Meltdown (2006) — Mr. Start (voice)
- According to Jim (2006) — Bill
- CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2010) — Giovanni "Papa" DiMasa
- Driving Me Crazy (2012) — Martin Brown
- "Joseph Bologna, Actor and Playwright Known for 'My Favorite Year,' Dies at 82". http://variety.com/2017/film/news/joe-bologna-dead-82-my-favorite-year-renee-taylor-1202526371/.
- Gates, Anita (August 14, 2017). "Joseph Bologna, Onscreen Tough Guy with a Sense of Humor, Dies at 82". https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/14/arts/joseph-bologna-actor-dies.html.
- Barnes, Mike (August 13, 2017). "Joseph Bologna, 'My Favorite Year' Actor and Oscar-Nominated Screenwriter, Dies at 82". ISSN 0018-3660. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/joe-bologna-dead-my-favorite-year-actor-was-82-1029119.
- Joseph Bologna at the Internet Movie Database
- Joseph Bologna at the TCM Movie Database
- Joseph Bologna at the Internet Broadway Database
- Joseph Bologna at AllMovie
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