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Abe Vigoda (1921–2016)

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... See full bio »

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Nominated for 3 Primetime Emmys. See more awards »

Known For

The Godfather
The Godfather Tessio
Barney Miller
Barney Miller Det. Phil Fish
Look Who's Talking


Jump to: Actor | Thanks | Self | Archive footage
Hide Hide Show Show Actor (94 credits)
 2014 Sweet Destiny
 2013 High School USA! (TV Series)
- Sweet 16 (2013) ... Otto (voice)
 2008 The Unknown Trilogy (Video)
Uncle Morty
 2007 The Godfather: Blackhand Edition (Video Game)
Sal Tessio (voice)
 2006 The Godfather: Mob Wars (Video Game)
Salvatore Tessio (voice)
 2006 The Godfather (Video Game)
Salvatore Tessio (voice)
 2003 Crime Spree
Angelo Giancarlo
 2001 Deadline (TV Series)
Joseph Spiaggio
- Don't I Know You? (2001) ... Joseph Spiaggio
 2000 Chump Change
The Frog
 2000 Manhattan, AZ (TV Series)
- The Voyage Home (2000) ... Ben
 1999 Norm (TV Series)
 1999/I Just the Ticket
 1999 Mad About You (TV Series)
Kalman Wertzel
- Farmer Buchman (1999) ... Kalman Wertzel
 1998 Promised Land (TV Series)
Albert Spokaine
- Jury Duty (1998) ... Albert Spokaine
 1998 A Brooklyn State of Mind
Uncle Guy
 1997 Farticus
 1997 Good Burger
 1996 Wings (TV Series)
- All About Christmas Eve (1996) ... Harry
 1996 Underworld
Will Cassady
 1996 Love Is All There Is
 1996 Weird Science (TV Series)
Old Man Lisa
 1996 Law & Order (TV Series)
Ret. Detective Landis
- Remand (1996) ... Ret. Detective Landis
 1995 The Misery Brothers
Don Frito Layleone
 1995 Jury Duty
Judge Powell
 1994 Home of Angels
 1994 Diagnosis Murder (TV Series)
Alfredo Bartolo / Al Bartell / Mr. Johnson
- You Can Call Me Johnson (1994) ... Alfredo Bartolo / Al Bartell / Mr. Johnson
 1994 North
Alaskan Grandpa
 1993 Me and the Kid
Pawn Broker
 1993 Sugar Hill
Gus Molino
 1993 Fist of Honor
Victor Malucci
 1992 Lucky Luke (TV Series)
Judge Rinehart
- Ghost Train (1992) ... Judge Rinehart
 1991 Murder, She Wrote (TV Series)
- The Prodigal Father (1991) ... George
 1990 The New Adventures of the Black Stallion (TV Series)
D. J. Lancaster
- Last Race (1990) ... D. J. Lancaster
 1990 MacGyver (TV Series)
Bill Cody
- Harry's Will (1990) ... Bill Cody
 1990 Monsters (TV Series)
- The Gift (1990) ... Dolan
 1990 Joe Versus the Volcano
Chief of the Waponis
 1990 Keaton's Cop
Louis Keaton
 1989 Prancer
Orel Benton
 1989 Look Who's Talking
 1989 Santa Barbara (TV Series)
Lyle DeFranco
- Episode #1.1150 (1989) ... Lyle DeFranco
- Episode #1.1148 (1989) ... Lyle DeFranco
- Episode #1.1147 (1989) ... Lyle DeFranco
- Episode #1.1144 (1989) ... Lyle DeFranco
- Episode #1.1143 (1989) ... Lyle DeFranco
 1989 B.L. Stryker (TV Series)
 1988 Superboy (TV Series)
Mr. Wagner
- Back to Oblivion (1988) ... Mr. Wagner
 1987 Plain Clothes
Mr. Wiseman
 1986 Vasectomy: A Delicate Matter
Detective Abe Fossi
 1986 Tales from the Darkside (TV Series)
Jake Corelli
- A Choice of Dreams (1986) ... Jake Corelli
 1985 The Stuff
Special Guest Star in Stuff Commercial
 1984 The New Mike Hammer (TV Series)
- A Bullet for Benny (1984) ... Arthur
 1984 Cannonball Run II
 1981 Harper Valley P.T.A. (TV Series)
- Stella's Scam (1981) ... Slick
 1974-1981 Barney Miller (TV Series)
Det. Phil Fish
- Burial (1977) ... Det. Phil Fish (uncredited)
- Strike: Part 2 (1977) ... Det. Phil Fish (credit only)
- Strike: Part 1 (1977) ... Det. Phil Fish (credit only)
 1981 The Big Stuffed Dog (TV Movie)
Carnival Pitchman
 1980 Gridlock (TV Movie)
 1980 The Littlest Hobo (TV Series)
Howard Mattson
- The Million Dollar Fur Heist (1980) ... Howard Mattson
 1979 B.J. and the Bear (TV Series)
Grandpa Ben Rule
- Mary Ellen (1979) ... Grandpa Ben Rule
 1979 Death Car on the Freeway (TV Movie)
Mr. Frisch
 1979 Fantasy Island (TV Series)
Joe Lange / Sid Gordon
- Goose for the Gander/The Stuntman (1979) ... Joe Lange
 1979 Eight Is Enough (TV Series)
Ben Ryan
- The Final Days (1979) ... Ben Ryan
 1979 Supertrain (TV Series)
Ray Yellburton
- A Very Formal Heist (1979) ... Ray Yellburton
 1979 $weepstake$ (TV Series)
- Episode #1.1 (1979) ... Anthony
 1979 The Love Boat (TV Series)
Charlie Fletcher
- Gopher's Opportunity/The Switch/Home Sweet Home (1979) ... Charlie Fletcher
 1978 How to Pick Up Girls! (TV Movie)
Nathan Perlmutter
 1974-1978 The Rockford Files (TV Series)
Phil 'The Dancer' Gabriel / Al Dancer
- Rosendahl and Gilda Stern Are Dead (1978) ... Phil 'The Dancer' Gabriel
- The Kirkoff Case (1974) ... Al Dancer
 1978 Vega$ (TV Series)
- Centerfold (1978) ... Max
 1978 The Comedy Company (TV Movie)
 1978 The Cheap Detective
Sgt. Rizzuto
 1977 The Godfather: A Novel for Television (TV Mini-Series)
Sal Tessio (uncredited)
 1976 The Bionic Woman (TV Series)
- Black Magic (1976) ... Barlow
 1976 Having Babies (TV Movie)
Al Schneider
 1975 Cannon (TV Series)
Mr. Couzellous
- Search and Destroy (1975) ... Mr. Couzellous
 1974 Kojak (TV Series)
- The Best Judge Money Can Buy (1974) ... Kilty
 1974 Hawaii Five-O (TV Series)
Abe Kemper
- The Two-Faced Corpse (1974) ... Abe Kemper
 1974 Newman's Law
John Dellanzia
 1974 The Story of Pretty Boy Floyd (TV Movie)
Dominic Morrell
 1973-1974 Toma (TV Series)
- The Street (1974)
- Pilot (1973) ... Donzer
 1974 The Rookies (TV Series)
Michael Lance
- Something Less Than a Man (1974) ... Michael Lance
 1973 Love, American Style (TV Series)
Mr. Burdick (segment "Love and the Unwedding")
- Love and the Big Top/Love and the Locksmith/Love and the Odd Couples/Love and the Unwedding (1973) ... Mr. Burdick (segment "Love and the Unwedding") (uncredited)
 1973 The Don Is Dead
Don Talusso
 1973 Mannix (TV Series)
Anton Valine
- A Matter of Principle (1973) ... Anton Valine
 1973 The Devil's Daughter (TV Movie)
 1969-1970 Dark Shadows (TV Series)
Ezra Braithwaite / Otis Greene
- Episode #1.1124 (1970) ... Otis Greene
- Episode #1.684 (1969) ... Ezra Braithwaite (as Abe Vigodo)
 1965 Three Rooms in Manhattan
Waiter (uncredited)
 1956 As the World Turns (TV Series)
Joe Kravitz (1985)
 1951 All Star Revue (TV Series)
Guest Comic / Cab Driver
- Episode #1.35 (1951) ... Guest Comic
- Episode #1.33 (1951) ... Cab Driver
 1949 Studio One in Hollywood (TV Series)
- Two Sharp Knives (1949)
 1949 Suspense (TV Series)
- Lunch Box (1949)
Show Show Thanks (1 credit)
Show Show Self (34 credits)
Show Show Archive footage (8 credits)

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Personal Details

Other Works:

Guest on the late night TV talk program "Dr. Ruth Show". See more »

Publicity Listings:

2 Articles | See more »

Alternate Names:

Vigoda | Abe Vigodo


6' (1.83 m)

Did You Know?

Personal Quote:

While living in Los Angeles, I'd jog three to five miles a day. One morning jogging, my agent calls about a new series called Barney Miller (1974), saying, "Go there at once." Well, I was tired and exhausted ... I must have run five miles that morning. I said. "I have to go home and take a shower." "No, no, no. go right now to Studio City, you're very right for it, they know you from The Godfather... See more »


According to director Francis Ford Coppola, Abe was cast for the role of "Tessio" in The Godfather (1972) from an open casting call. He was selected from a pool of 500 unknown actors who auditioned for that role. See more »


Deep and distinctive voice See more »

Star Sign:


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Recent Posts
Why do the good always die so young???? RIP TheMasturbatingBear
Betcha he's gonna live for at least another decade. MetalGearLex
didn't he die? cronix
Sal Tessio! iLPadrino
Resemblance to Brad Garrett airyak13
Abe Vigoda was younger than Jack Soo ! rabb1
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