Abe Vigoda

Abe Vigoda

  • Born on
    • February 24th, 1921
  • Died on
    • January 26th, 2016
Tall, dour-faced and slouch-shouldered character actor Abraham Charles Vigoda (February 24, 1921 – January 26, 2016) 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 the age of 17 and plodded away in small theater shows for over 20 years. For the majority of film-goers, Vigoda first came to prominence in The Godfather (1972) as the double-crossing Tessio, pleading with Robert Duvall to get him off the hook "for old times' sake." He also appeared in its sequel. Vigoda had roles in a few nondescript TV films before landing the plum part of Sgt. Phil Fish on the brilliant sitcom Barney Miller (1974). Perhaps his best known role, Sgt. Fish proved popular enough to be spun off to his own (short-lived) series Fish (1977). With his long face and unusual looks, Vigoda remained in high demand in mafioso-type roles, and for a while in the mid-1980s, he was mistakenly believed to have been dead, leading producers to remark, "I need an Abe Vigoda type actor," not realizing Vigoda was still alive and well. The 1990s and beyond became busy again for him, with appearances in North (1994), The Misery Brothers (1995), A Brooklyn State of Mind (1998), and Crime Spree (2003). He continued acting into his 90s, surprising audiences with his entertaining style. Abe Vigoda died in his sleep on January 26, 2016 in Woodland Park, New Jersey.

Starring Abe Vigoda on Plex


Acting (23 Credits)

2006Farce of the Penguins as Penguin from Boca (voice)
1998Witness to the Mob as Paul Castellano
1998Just the Ticket as Arty
1997Good Burger as Otis
1996Love Is All There Is as Rudy
1996Underworld as Will Cassady
1995Jury Duty as Judge Powell
1994North as Alaskan Grandpa
1993Batman: Mask of the Phantasm as Salvatore Valestra (voice)
1993Sugar Hill as Gus Molino
1990Joe Versus the Volcano as Chief of the Waponis
1989Prancer as Orel Benton
1989Look Who's Talking as Grandpa
1987Plain Clothes as Mr. Wiseman
1985The Stuff as Stuff Commercial Spokesman
1984Cannonball Run II as Caesar
1978The Cheap Detective as Sergeant Rizzuto
1977The Godfather Saga as Salvatore "Sal" Tessio (uncredited)
1975Barney Miller as Philip Fish
1974The Godfather: Part II as Salvatore "Sal" Tessio
1973The Don Is Dead as Don Talusso
1973The Devil's Daughter as AlikhineWatch Free
1972The Godfather as Salvatore "Sal" Tessio


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