Abe Vigoda dies at 94; actor was known for 'Barney Miller' and 'Godfather' roles

Jan 27, 2016 601

Abe Vigoda, best known for portraying a gangster in "The Godfather" films and the glum Det. Fish on TV's "Barney Miller," died Tuesday at his daughter's home in Woodland Park, N.J. He was 94. Vigoda's daughter, Carol Vigoda Fuchs, said he died in his sleep of natural causes.

A veteran of New York theater, Vigoda was about 50 when he was cast in his first U.S. film, "The Godfather." Director Francis Ford Coppola chose him from 500 other actors during an open casting call. Vigoda played Sal Tessio, an old friend of Vito Corleone's (Marlon Brando) who hopes to take over the family after Vito's death by killing his son Michael Corleone (Al Pacino). The great success of the film -- it won the best picture Oscar in 1973 -- and "The Godfather Part II" made his face and voice, if not his name, recognizable to the general public and led to numerous subsequent roles.

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Source: http://www.latimes.com/

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