Image of Abe Vigoda

Abe Vigoda

Tall, dour-faced and slouch-shouldered character actor Abe Vigoda proved himself in both gritty dramatic roles, and as an actor with wonderful comedic timing. Vigoda was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Lena (Moses) and Samuel Vigoda, both Russian Jewish immigrants. His father was a tailor on the Lower East Side. He made his first stage appearance at the age of 17 and plodded away in small theater shows for over 20 years. For the majority of film-goers, Vigoda first came to prominence in The Godfather (1972) as the double-crossing Tessio, pleading with Robert Duvall to get him off the hook "for old times' sake." He also appeared in its sequel. Vigoda had roles in a few nondescript TV films before landing the plum part of Sgt. Phil Fish on the brilliant sitcom Barney Miller (1974). Perhaps his best known role, Sgt. Fish proved popular enough to be spun off to his own (short-lived) series Fish (1977). With his long face and unusual looks, Vigoda remained in high demand in mafioso-type roles, and for a while in the mid-1980s, he was mistakenly believed to have been dead, leading producers to remark, "I need an Abe Vigoda type actor," not realizing Vigoda was still alive and well. The 1990s and beyond became busy again for him, with appearances in North (1994), The Misery Brothers (1995), A Brooklyn State of Mind (1998), and Crime Spree (2003). He continued acting into his 90s, surprising audiences with his entertaining style. Abe Vigoda died in his sleep on January 26, 2016 in Woodland Park, New Jersey.

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Feb 24, 1921 In New York City, New York, USA
Movie/TV Credits:
First Appeared:
In the series Studio One 1948-11-07
Latest Project:
Series Dinah! 2018
Known For
Poster of Dinah!
Poster of Padre de familia
Poster of Vasectomy: A Delicate Matter
Poster of Newman's Law
Series Dinah! Unknown 2018
Pelicula Movida en el Polo Penguin from Boca (voice) 2006-12-01
Series TV Land Awards: A Celebration of Classic TV Unknown 2003-03-12
Series Deadline Unknown 2000-10-02
Series Padre de familia Unknown 1999-01-31
Pelicula Como caído del cielo Arty 1999-02-26
Series The Norm Show Unknown 1999-03-24
Pelicula A Brooklyn State of Mind Uncle Guy 1998-01-01
Pelicula Witness to the Mob Paul Castellano 1998-05-10
Pelicula Good Burger Otis 1997-07-25
Pelicula Underworld Will Cassady 1996-06-01
Pelicula El amor es lo único que existe Rudy 1996-05-10
Series Promised Land Unknown 1996-09-17
Pelicula The Misery Brothers Don Frito Layleone 1995-01-01
Pelicula ¿Y dónde está el jurado? Judge Powell 1995-04-12
Pelicula Sugar Hill Gus Molino 1994-02-25
Series Weird Science Unknown 1994-03-05
Pelicula Un muchacho llamado Norte Alaskan Grandpa 1994-07-22
Series Tocados por un ángel Unknown 1994-09-21
Pelicula Fist of Honor Victor Malucci 1993-05-19
Series Late Night with Conan O'Brien Unknown 1993-09-13
Pelicula Batman: La máscara del fantasma Salvatore Valestra (voice) 1993-12-25
Series Diagnóstico: Asesinato Unknown 1993-10-29
Series Lucky Luke Unknown 1992-03-20
Series Loco por ti Unknown 1992-09-23
Pelicula Joe contra el volcán Chief of the Waponis 1990-03-09
Pelicula El retorno de Keaton Louis Keaton 1990-03-09
Series Ley y orden Unknown 1990-09-13
Series Wings Unknown 1990-04-19
Series The Black Stallion Unknown 1990-09-15
Series B.L. Stryker Unknown 1989-02-13
Pelicula Mira quien habla Grandpa 1989-10-12
Pelicula Prancer Orel Benton 1989-11-17
Pelicula Plain Clothes Mr. Wiseman 1988-01-01
Series Superboy Unknown 1988-10-08
Series Monstruos Unknown 1988-10-01
Pelicula Vasectomy: A Delicate Matter Abe 1986-01-01
Pelicula In-natural Stuff Commercial Spokesman 1985-06-14
Pelicula Los locos del Cannonball II Caesar 1984-06-29
Series Se ha escrito un crimen Unknown 1984-09-30
Series Harper Valley Unknown 1981-01-16
Series Sweepstakes Unknown 1979-01-26
Series Supertrain Unknown 1979-02-07
Series The Littlest Hobo Unknown 1979-10-11
Series B. J. and the Bear Unknown 1979-02-10
Pelicula Death Car on the Freeway Mr. Frisch 1979-09-24
Series Vega$ Unknown 1978-04-25
Pelicula El detective barato Sergeant Rizzuto 1978-06-23
Series Vacaciones en el mar Unknown 1977-09-24
Series Fish 1977-02-05
Series Eight Is Enough Unknown 1977-03-15
Series La mujer biónica Unknown 1976-01-14
Series The Captain and Tennille Unknown 1976-09-20
Series Barney Miller Unknown 1975-01-23
Series Tattletales Unknown 1974-02-18
Pelicula Newman's Law John Dellanzia 1974-08-21
Pelicula El Padrino. Parte II Tessio 1974-12-20
Series Tony Orlando and Dawn Unknown 1974-12-04
Pelicula The Devil's Daughter Alikhine 1973-01-09
Series Toma Unknown 1973-03-21
Series Kojak Unknown 1973-10-24
Pelicula El Don ha muerto Don Talusso 1973-11-14
Series The Rookies Unknown 1972-09-11
Pelicula El Padrino Salvatore "Sally" Tessio 1972-03-14
Series The Sandy Duncan Show Unknown 1972-09-17
Series Cannon Unknown 1971-09-14
Series Hawai 5-0 Unknown 1968-09-20
Series Mannix Unknown 1967-09-16
Series Dark Shadows Unknown 1966-06-27
Pelicula Tres habitaciones en Manhattan Waiter (uncredited) 1965-11-10
Series The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson Unknown 1962-10-01
Series Suspense Unknown 1949-01-06
Series Studio One Unknown 1948-11-07