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Chick Vennera Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Family (1)  | Trivia (4)

Overview (3)

Born in Herkimer, New York, USA
Died in Burbank, California, USA  (cancer)
Birth NameFrancis Vincent Vennera

Mini Bio (1)

Born in Herkimer, New York, Chick Vennera's career in entertainment had an early start. Beginning dance lessons at the age of three, piano at seven, clarinet and saxophone shortly thereafter, Chick found his passion at a very young age. He continued his musical education throughout high school, singing and playing in nightclubs as well as school dances.

Upon graduation, he left New York bound for California to study acting at the esteemed Pasadena Playhouse. Two years later, Chick entered the Army where upon completing basic training he was assigned to the signal corps. It was while in the signal corps that Chick won the Third Army Entertainment Contest and was reassigned to Special Services and later the Third Army Soldier Show. He spent the balance of his military commitment singing, dancing and playing music for the troops.

After completing his military commitment Chick returned to the West Coast where he continued to work as a musician playing in various nightclubs in the Los Angeles area. It was during this time that he auditioned for the Academy Award winning choreographer Onna White who was choreographing 'Disney On Parade'. He spent the next two years touring the United States, Canada and Mexico performing as a dancer, acrobat and clown portraying many Disney characters. After the Disney tour, he worked with director/choreographer Joe Layton dancing and working as a back-up performer for Raquel Welch and the Sid and Marty Croft Review, in Las Vegas and Lake Tahoe.

During this time Chick went to New York to audition for a new show called 'Grease'. Chick won the role of "Sonny" and performed first in the "Bus and Truck" Tour, and then later in the second National Tour. When 'Grease' broke the record of longest running musical, Chick performed the role of "Sonny" on Broadway. After leaving the tour, Chick again returned to Los Angeles where he began studying at the Beverly Hills Playhouse with acclaimed director and teacher Milton Katselas. For the next two years, Chick acted various roles in film and television until he returned to New York to do the play "Jockeys" directed by Katselas.

Chick was awarded the Theater World Award for his role as "Angel" in 'Jockeys'. Back in L.A., after 'Jockeys', he starred in 'Thank God It's Friday', where, as "Marv the Leather Man", he performed the now famous dance on seven cars in the parking lot of a Hollywood discotheque. Casting director Marion Dougherty, who had seen his performance in 'Jockeys', asked him to audition for the role of "Danny" in the WWII love story film, 'Yanks', directed by John Schlesinger. This began Chick's work as an actor in more than 50 films, including 'The Milagro Beanfield War', directed by Robert Redford.

Chick's voice can be heard portraying characters in many animated television series, including Steven Spielberg's Emmy Award winning 'Animaniacs', in which Chick created the voices for "Pesto" and "The God Pigeon". In addition to acting, music, dance and voice-overs, he wrote and directed for television, stage and film. He worked as a singer and songwriter for radio, television and film.

Chick expanded his resume to include teaching. Under the guidance of acclaimed director and teacher, Milton Katselas, he taught for over a decade at the esteemed Beverly Hills Playhouse before starting the Renegade Theatre Group in June 2009. In addition to the Theater World Award, he won the Golden Eagle Award and was part of the ensemble cast awarded the Daytime Emmy for "Animaniacs". Chick Vennera was a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: FilmExposure

Family (1)

Spouse Suzanne E Messbauer (9 April 1983 - 7 July 2021)  (his death)
Joanne Mary Divito (6 May 1971 - 1 July 1982)  (divorced)  (1 child)

Trivia (4)

Was an acting teacher at the Beverly Hills Playhouse.
Trained at the Pasadena Playhouse and with Milton Katselas at the Beverly Hills Playhouse.
Singer, dancer, and saxophone player, Chick Vennera performed in nightclubs across the country.
Was the son of a musician.

See also

Other Works |  Publicity Listings |  Official Sites

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