Magazine article Variety

Abe Vigoda Was Big Fish in Sitcom Pond

Magazine article Variety

Abe Vigoda Was Big Fish in Sitcom Pond

Article excerpt

Abe Vigoda, best known for his roles as mobster Tessio in "The Godfather" and as Det. Sgt. Fish in TV's "Barney Miller," died Jan. 26 in Woodland Park, N.J. He was 94.

The tall character actor with the slouched shoulders and hangdog face became something of a pop culture figure due to repeated false reports of his demise. Reflecting his somewhat odd celebrity was the existence of a punk rock band named Abe Vigoda; his recurring appearances in the late 2000s on "Late Night With Conan O'Brien"; and the presence of a website Isabevigodadead.com, which for years consisted simply of a blank page with the word "No."

During the 2010 Super Bowl, Vigoda appeared with Betty White in a commercial for Snickers candy bars.

The actor was essentially unknown when he went to an open call for "The Godfather," and landed the part of Tessio, then managed to make an impression in the film, despite all the high-powered acting talent present. …

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