Friday, January 27, 2006

 

From Tessio to Blind Uncle Morty

This time next month, character actor Abe Vigoda turns 85. With all due respect, Vigoda "seemed" old in 1972 when he appeared as Tessio in The Godfather, and, in one of the film's most memorable scenes. After his failed attempt to take over the Corleone family, and a last-minute appeal to family consoliere Tom Hagen (Robert Duvall), "For oldtime's sake..." Tessio hands over his gun and is quietly led off to his execution (off screen). Vigoda appeared as the cantankerous police detective Phil Fish, in the popular 1970s TV series Barney Miller. (He even headlined the short lived spin-off series, Fish.) One might have wondered if Vigoda was still with us when, lo and behold, he showed up as Grandpa in 1989's Look Who's Talking. (That same year he played Dr. Orel Benton in the Christmas sleeper Prancer.) This year, look for Vigoda to play Blind Uncle Morty in the short Frankie the Squirrel, directed by Brian Cavallaro and written by Sal Mazzotta and Leo Rossi. Hmmm. From Tessio to Blind Uncle Morty. One might wonder, "Was that the smart move?"

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