Vincent Gardenia

Actor
Short, stocky character player whose furrowed brow, hawk nose and hearty manner made him an instantly recognizable figure on stage, screen and TV from the late 1950s. Starting as a professional actor in his mid-30s ... Read more »
Born: 01/06/1922 in Italy

Filmography

Actor (54)

The Ray Bradbury Theater 1987 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

Street Scenes: New York on Film 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

The 46th Annual Tony Awards 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

Coney Island 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Voice

L.A. Law 1990 - 1991 (Tv Show)

Actor

The Super 1991 (Movie)

Big Lou Kritski (Actor)

The Tragedy of Flight 103: The Inside Story 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

Skin Deep 1989 (Movie)

Barney (Actor)

The Twilight Zone 1985 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

Cavalli Si Nasce 1988 (Movie)

(Actor)

The 2nd Annual American Comedy Awards 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

Charley's Aunt 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

Moonstruck 1987 (Movie)

Cosmo Castorini (Actor)

Little Shop of Horrors 1986 (Movie)

Mushnik (Actor)

Movers & Shakers 1985 (Movie)

Saul Gritz (Actor)

Dark Mirror 1983 - 1984 (TV Show)

Actor

Kennedy 1983 - 1984 (TV Show)

Actor

Death Wish II 1982 (Movie)

Frank Ochoa (Actor)

Breaking Away 1980 - 1981 (TV Show)

Actor

All in the Family 1970 - 1979 (TV Show)

Actor

Firepower 1979 (Movie)

Frank Hull (Actor)

Home Movies 1979 (Movie)

Dr Byrd (Actor)

The Last Flight of Noah's Ark 1979 (Movie)

Stoney (Actor)

Heaven Can Wait 1978 (Movie)

Detective Krim (Actor)

Fire Sale 1977 (Movie)

Benny Fikus (Actor)

Greased Lightning 1977 (Movie)

Sheriff Cotton (Actor)

Dean's Place 1975 - 1976 (TV Show)

Actor

Death Wish 1974 (Movie)

Detective Ochoa (Actor)

The Front Page 1974 (Movie)

Sheriff (Actor)

The Manchu Eagle Murder Caper Mystery 1974 (Movie)

Big Daddy (Actor)

Bang the Drum Slowly 1973 (Movie)

Manager Dutch Schnell (Actor)

Cops 1972 - 1973 (TV Show)

Actor

Hickey and Boggs 1972 (Movie)

Papadakis (Actor)

Lucky Luciano 1972 (Movie)

American Colonel (Actor)

Cold Turkey 1971 (Movie)

Mayor (Actor)

Little Murders 1971 (Movie)

Mr Newquist (Actor)

Jenny 1970 (Movie)

Mr Marsh (Actor)

Where's Poppa? 1970 (Movie)

(Actor)

Mission Impossible Vs. the Mob 1968 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Third Day 1964 (Movie)

Preston (Actor)

A View From the Bridge 1961 (Movie)

Lipari (Actor)

Mad Dog Coll 1961 (Movie)

Dutch Schultz (Actor)

Parrish 1961 (Movie)

Gas Station Attendant (Actor)

The Hustler 1961 (Movie)

Bartender (Actor)

Murder, Inc. 1960 (Movie)

Laslo (Actor)

Age-Old Friends (TV Show)

Actor

Brass (TV Show)

Actor

Goldie and the Boxer (TV Show)

Actor

Marciano (TV Show)

Actor

Muggable Mary: Street Cop (TV Show)

Actor

The Dark Mirror (Movie)

Detective Al Church (Actor)

The Dream Merchants (TV Show)

Actor

The House on 92nd Street (Movie)

Trainee (Actor)

Thornwell (TV Show)

Actor

Biography

Short, stocky character player whose furrowed brow, hawk nose and hearty manner made him an instantly recognizable figure on stage, screen and TV from the late 1950s. Starting as a professional actor in his mid-30s, Gardenia played supporting roles on Broadway in "Volpone" (1957), "Only in America" (1959) and "Seidman and Son" (1962) and in films including "The Hustler" (1961, playing a bartender) and "Mad Dog Coll" (1961, playing Dutch Schultz). He won a Tony for his performance in Neil Simon's "The Prisoner of Second Avenue" in 1972 and earned a New York Film Critics Award and his first Oscar nomination as the baseball team manager in "Bang the Drum Slowly" (1973). His second nomination came as Cher's philandering father in "Moonstruck" (1987).

Gardenia appeared in many other Simon plays including "God's Favorite", in a role written specially for him by the playwright. He is perhaps best known as Archie Bunker's loquacious, ever-singing, culinary buff neighbor Frank Lorenzo on the CBS perennial, "All in the Family".

Gardenia spent a considerable portion of his career playing huffy but good-hearted police officers, detectives, and station captains in TV movies including "Cops" (1973), "Muggable Mary: Street Cop" (1982), "The Dark Mirror" (1984) and "Brass" (1985), and films such as "Heaven Can Wait" (1978). His final film appearance was as the father of Joe Pesci in "The Super" (1991).

Relationships

Elisa Scognamiglio

Mother

Gennaro Scognamiglio

Father

EDUCATION

studied acting with Harold Clurman

Milestones

1992

Was appearing onstage in "Breaking Legs" in Philadelphia at the time of his death

1987

Was featured as Cher's father in "Moonstruck"

1983

Played J. Edgar Hoover in the NBC mini-series, "Kennedy"

1958

First acted on Broadway in "The Visit"

1958

Returned to feature films; played first notable film role in "Cop Hater"

1956

Enjoyed a career breakthrough with the role of Piggy in the off-Broadway production of "The Man with the Golden Arm"

1944

Appeared in a bit part as one of the trainee spies in "The House on 92nd Street"; uncredited

1927

Played first (amateur) stage role at age five at the Fifth Avenue Theatre in Brooklyn, a shoeshine boy in "Shoe Shine"

1924

Family emigrated to the US when Gardenia was two; settled in Brooklyn (date approximate)

Served as a private in the US Army

Was active as a nonprofessional in New York's Italian-language theatre

Portrayed Frank Lorenzo on popular CBS sitcom, "All in the Family"

Played Ray Stohler on the ABC comedy drama, "Breaking Away" (based on the film of the same name)

Bonus Trivia

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Gardenia has also received two Oscar nominations as Best Supporting Actor for his work in "Bang the Drum Slowly" (1973) and "Moonstruck" (1987) and a Tony nomination as Outstanding Actor in a Musical for Michael Bennett's "Ballroom" (1979).

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