Daniel J. Travanti

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Daniel J. Travanti
Born Danielo Giovanni Travanti
(1940-03-07) 7 March 1940 (age 74)
Kenosha, Wisconsin, U.S.

Danielo Giovanni "Daniel J." Travanti (born March 7, 1940) is an American actor best known for his starring role as Captain Frank Furillo in the 1980s television drama Hill Street Blues.


Travanti, one of five children, was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin, to Italian immigrant parents. His father was a factory worker. During his teen years, Travanti was an athlete and good student, earning scholarships to Harvard University, Princeton University, and Dartmouth College, though he eventually attended the University of Wisconsin–Madison.[1] In 1957, before his senior year, he attended the youth government and leadership program called Badger Boys State as a representative chosen from his high school.

In the very early '60s he played Cathy Lane's besotted beau, "Rock" in an episode of The Patty Duke Show. In 1964, Travanti guest-starred in the episode "Murder by Scandal" of CBS's drama about newspapers, The Reporter. In 1966 he played the role of radio talk-show host and murderer Barney Austin in the Perry Mason episode, "The Case of the Midnight Howler." He (credited as Dan Travanty in all three) was the lead guest star in the Season 3 episode "Space Destructors" of Lost in Space in 1967, he was featured in the Season 5 episode "Murder Times Three" of Mannix in late 1971, and he appeared in the Season 6 episode "Image" of Mission: Impossible in early 1972. Also in 1972 he played a fugitive in The Devil's Playground episode of Cannon with his future Hill Street Blues co-star James B. Sikking. In 1982 Travanti appeared briefly in the "Newhart" series episode "A View From The Bench".

Years later, Travanti earned five nominations and two Emmy Awards for his portrayal of Hill Street Station Captain Frank Furillo. In 1983, Travanti starred in the TV movie Adam for which he received another Emmy nomination. Since then, Travanti has appeared in a number of TV movies and has made appearances in television programs such as Poltergeist: The Legacy (1997) and Prison Break (2005). In 1986, HBO broadcast the made-for-cable biographical film Murrow, with Travanti's portrayal of Edward R. Murrow receiving a Cable Ace nomination. He co-starred in the film Millennium (1989) and as Lt. Ray McAuliffe in the television series Missing Persons (1993).

Travanti has publicly acknowledged his past as an alcoholic[2] who found sobriety through Alcoholics Anonymous, calling the affliction a "disease of loneliness and secrecy." In 1981, he made such a confession to Rona Barrett in an interview on NBC and even recited, from memory, all of the organization's "Twelve Steps" on camera.[3] Captain Furillo, his best-known character, was also a recovering alcoholic, and the character was shown multiple times taking part in AA meetings.

In January–March 2007, Travanti appeared off-Broadway in Oren Safdie's The Last Word... at the Theater at St. Clements in New York City, and in November–December 2008, Travanti played the "Con Melody" in an off-off Broadway production of Eugene O'Neill's A Touch of the Poet for Friendly Fire Theater in New York.

In 2010, he appeared in an episode of Criminal Minds as a 75-year-old serial killer suffering from Alzheimer's.

Travanti had a recurring role on the Starz television series Boss.


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