Perennial character actor Abe Vigoda passed away at the ripe old age of 94 on Tuesday. As a fan of T.V. and movies, Abe holds a special place with me. Two characters in particular he played will stay with me for a long time. The first was Sal Tessio in arguably the greatest movie ever filmed, “The Godfather”. In the scene below, Sal has betrayed Michael Corleone and the family finds out about it.
On the small screen, Abe found a a delicious character named Phil Fish on the 70’s Cop comedy Barney Miller. Not always going for the laughs, this scene shows Fish and Barney discussing Fish’s last day on the force.
Over the years, the subject of Abe’s death was greatly exaggerated and always a hoax, until now. Back in 1988, the first of these hoaxes were making the rounds and Davis Letterman on the Late Show did what he could to help dispel the rumours.
And as Abe got into his 90’s, he didn’t slow down, much. Here he is with Betty White in a Snickers commercial that launched during the Superbowl a couple of years ago.
Abe Vigoda, you are already missed.