Actor Spotlight: Abe Vigoda

By: Logan Sowash

Born on February 24, 1921 in New York City, Abe Vigoda was a man with the ability to be a fantastic dramatic actor and a hilarious comedic actor. His career made its first big leap when he was cast in his first film role as Sal Tessio in 1972’s The Godfather. After appearing in the 1974 sequel, he took a tonal shift with his career by starring in the television police comedy Barney Miller as Detective Phil Fish. The show lasted for 8 seasons which even led to Detective Phil Fish getting his own spin-off series in the late 1970’s.

        After the end of the Barney Miller series, Vigoda’s career never gained that same highpoint he had in the 1970’s. Despite that, he still had other roles over the years such as Lyle DeFranco in Santa Barbara, Grandpa in Look Who’s Talking, and Otis in Good Burger just to name a few. He even did a popular Snickers commercial in 2010 with Betty White at the age of 89. After 94 years, however, Abe Vigoda passed away in his sleep on January 26, 2016. While his career peak was four decades ago, his legacy lives on with his family and his iconic performances.