Abe Vigoda Dead at 94

The popular character actor starred in ‘The Godfather’ and ‘Barney Miller’!

Abe vigoda obit featured
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Beloved character actor Abe Vigoda, who played Mafia captain Sal Tessio in “The Godfather” and the sad-eyed detective Phil Fish on “Barney Miller” in the 1970s, died today at age 94.

His daughter, Carol Vigoda Fuchs, confirmed his death at her home this morning in Woodland Park, N.J., citing old age as his cause of death. “This man was never sick,” she said.

Born in New York City in 1921, Abe attended the Theater School of Dramatic Arts at Carnegie Hall. In the early 1950s, he appeared in Jimmy Durante and Ed Wynn TV comedies. He labored in the theater for more than 30 years, acting in dozens of plays, such as “Richard II,” and even played Abraham Lincoln in the short-lived Broadway comedy “Tough to Get Help.”

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Although “The Godfather” won an Oscar as best picture and Abe played a key role, it was his supporting character Fish on the NYPD comedy “Barney Miller” that made his face famous, if not his name.

Abe’s long career and everyman look led to an unofficial recurring gag — in which he participated — about whether he was dead or alive.

Now, fans have the definitive answer.