Joseph Bologna

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Joseph Bologna
Bologna in 1974
Born(1934-12-30)December 30, 1934
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
DiedAugust 13, 2017(2017-08-13) (aged 82)
Alma materBrown University
Years active1970–2012
(m. 1965)
Children1[note 1]

Joseph Bologna (December 30, 1934 – August 13, 2017) was an American actor, playwright and screenwriter notable for his roles in the comedy films My Favorite Year, Blame It on Rio, and Transylvania 6-5000.

Life and career[edit]

Bologna was born in the Parkville section of Brooklyn, New York to an Italian-American family.[5] He attended St. Rose of Lima school and Brown University, where he majored in art history.[6] Bologna served with the United States Marine Corps. Bologna was hired to produce and direct Manhattan-based TV commercials.[5]

Bologna enjoyed a long run in film and television. His breakthrough film Lovers and Other Strangers adapted with his wife Renée Taylor from a play they co-wrote, was based on the true-life circumstances of organizing a wedding on short notice with the involvement of his Italian extended family and her Jewish clan. Several relatives performed as extras in the final cut. The couple shared an Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay. A year later, in 1971, the couple again collaborated to write and perform in the film Made for Each Other.[7]

Bologna stayed close with his old-neighborhood aunts and uncles after becoming successful. Two of them were slightly famous on their own: His Uncle Pat was Blacky the Bootblack, whom Joseph Kennedy credited as his main influence when he sold all of his stock holdings in the summer of 1929 (the market crashed in October); his aunt Pauline was one of the better-known celebrity chefs, working for Jackie Gleason, Burt Reynolds and others.

Bologna's aunt Pauline chastised him for starring in Blame It on Rio (starring Michael Caine), which contained some nudity; Bologna remarked "Blame it on me. It's the last time I invite Aunt Pauline to a film premiere." In 1976, he starred in the television drama What Now, Catherine Curtis? with Lucille Ball. Other film roles for Bologna include:

In 1987, Bologna starred in the TV musical sitcom Rags to Riches as Nick Foley, a millionaire mogul turned adoptive father.

He played the mad scientist Dr. Malavaqua in the 1985 comedy Transylvania 6-5000.

From 1996 to 1998, Bologna voiced Inspector Dan Turpin in Superman: The Animated Series. In 2006, he voiced Mr. Start in Ice Age: The Meltdown.

He and his wife Renée Taylor had a son Gabriel.[note 1] Gabriel became an actor, writer and director, and directed his father in his last film, "Tango Shalom".[note 1] Taylor and Bologna starred together on stage and on television. Bologna played a love interest for his wife in the episode "Maternal Affairs" of the sitcom The Nanny in the sixth and final season, in which Taylor plays Sylvia, the mother of Fran Drescher's character. He also appeared in the first-season episode "The Gym Teacher" as a famous actor for whom Maxwell Sheffield once interned.

From 2012 until before his death in 2017, Bologna appeared in numerous roles on TV and in motion pictures, including roles on Funny or Die, stage productions, and national commercials.

In 2017, Bologna received the Night of 100 Stars Oscar Gala Lifetime Achievement Award from actor comedian Richard Lewis and his peers to celebrate his 60-year career and to recognize his efforts to save the Motion Picture Home and Hospital in 2012.


Bologna died on August 13, 2017, at City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, California from pancreatic cancer[1][2] at age 82.



Year Title Role Notes
1971 Made for Each Other Giggy Also writer
Nominated — Writers Guild Award for Best Comedy Written Directly for the Screen (shared with Renee Taylor)[9]
1973 Cops and Robbers Joe
1974 Mixed Company Pete
1976 The Big Bus Dan Torrance
1979 Chapter Two Leo Schneider Credited as Joe Bologna
1982 My Favorite Year King Kaiser
1984 Blame It on Rio Victor Lyons
1984 The Woman in Red Joey
1985 Transylvania 6-5000 Dr. Malavaqua
1989 It Had to Be You Vito Pignoli
1990 Coupe de Ville Uncle Phil
1991 Alligator II: The Mutation David Hodges
1992 Jersey Girl Bennie
1993 Deadly Rivals Anthony Canberra Credited as Joe Bologna
1994 Night of the Archer Reggie Credited as Joe Bologna
1996 Love Is All There Is Mike Also director/writer
1996 Ringer Goldstein
1997 Heaven Before I Die unknown role Credited as Joe Bologna
1999 Baby Huey's Great Easter Adventure P.T. Wynnsocki Direct-to-video
1999 Big Daddy Lenny Koufax
1999 Blink of an Eye Renfro
2001 Squint Mel Kingman Short film
2001 Dying on the Edge Cal Roman
2002 Returning Mickey Stern Mickey Stern Also producer
2003 Red Zone Principal Pugliese Credited as Joe Bologna
2005 Boynton Beach Club Harry
2006 Ice Age: The Meltdown Mr. Start Voice role[10]
2007 Dancing on the Edge Captain Reynolds Short film
2012 Driving Me Crazy: Proof of Concept Martin Brown
2021 Tango Shalom Father Anthony Released posthumously
Also writer/producer


Year Title Role Notes
1973 Honor Thy Father Salvatore "Bill" Bonnano Television film
1973 Acts of Love and Other Comedies Arthur Hellman Television film
Also writer
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for Comedy, Variety or Music (shared with Renee Taylor) (1973)[11]
1973 Calucci's Department Series creator / writer (3 episodes)
1974 Paradise David, Biff, Tony Television film
Also writer
Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy/Variety, Variety or Music (shared with Renee Taylor) (1974)[11]
1975 Three for Two Television film
1976 What Now, Catherine Curtis? Peter Television film
1976 Woman of the Year Sam Rodino Television film
Also writer
1977 Good Penny Television film
1979 Torn Between Two Lovers Ted Conti Television film
Credited as Joe Bologna
1980 A Cry for Love Television film
1983 One Cooks, the Other Doesn't Max Boone Television film
1983 Lovers and Other Strangers Television film
Nominated — Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay[12]
Nominated — Writers Guild Award for Best Comedy Adapted from Another Medium (shared with Renee Taylor & David Zelag Goodman)[13]
1984 Bedrooms Host, Bill, David Television film
Also director/writer
1985 Copacabana Rico Castelli Television film
1986 A Time to Triumph Chuck Hassan Television film
Credited as Joe Bologna
1986 Sins Steve Bryant Recurring role (3 episodes)
1987 Not Quite Human Gordon Vogel Television film
1987 The New Hollywood Squares Himself (Panelist) Episode: "03.23.1987"
1987–1988 Rags to Riches Nick Foley Series regular (20 episodes)
1988 Win, Lose or Draw Himself (Contestant) Episode: "10.17.1988"
1989 Prime Target Ralph Manza Television film
1990 Thanksgiving Day Ned Monk Television film
Credited as Joe Bologna
1991 Married... with Children Charlie Verducci Recurring role (2 episodes)
1991 An Inconvenient Woman Arnie Zwillman Miniseries (2 episodes)
1991 Top of the Heap Charlie Verducci Series regular (7 episodes)
1992 Citizen Cohn Walter Winchell Television film
1992 The Danger of Love: The Carolyn Warmus Story Detective Pollino Television film
1992 Murder, She Wrote Brynie Sullivan Episode: "The Mole"
1993 Daddy Dearest Dr. Di Napoli Episode: "Offensive Care"
1994 L.A. Law Jack Barbara Episode: "Cold Cuts"
1994 Revenge of the Nerds IV: Nerds in Love Aaron Humphrey Television film
1994–1999 The Nanny Dr. Joe Razzo, Alan Beck 2 episodes
1995 Burke's Law Max Barnett, Leo Barnett Episode: "Who Killed the Movie Mogul?"
1996 Caroline in the City Lou Spadaro Episode: "Caroline and the Ex-Wife"
1997 Temporarily Yours Mike DeAngelo Episode: "By Design"
1997 The Don's Analyst Vincent DeMarco Television film
1997 Cosby Chuck Episode: "Older and Out"
1997–1998 Superman: The Animated Series Dan Turpin Voice, 12 episodes[10]
1998 Jenny Bernie Episode: "A Girl's Gotta Come Through in a Clutch"
1998 The Simple Life Phillip Devine Episode: "The Luke & Sara Show"
1998 Astoria Unknown role Television film
1999 Marital Law Alistair Temple Episode: "24 Hours"
2000 Chicken Soup for the Soul Rabbi Goldman Episode: "14 Steps/Damaged Goods/Ballerina Dreams"
2002 The Chris Isaak Show Uncle Corky Episode: "The Hidden Mommy"
2002 Arli$$ Ned Balfour Episode: "Profiles in Agenting"
2005 Jane Doe: Til Death Do Us Part Louis Angelini Television film
2005 Fathers and Sons Noah Television film
2005 Everwood Max Barrett Episode: "Pieces of Me"
2006 According to Jim Bill Episode: "Daddy Dearest"
2010 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Giovanni "Papa" DiMasa Episode: "Meat Jekyll"
2013 Celebrity Ghost Stories Himself Episode: "Cherie Currie/Joseph Bologna/Diane Farr/Estella Warren"


  1. ^ a b c Although some sources have claimed that Bologna had two children with his wife, Renée Taylor, a son and a daughter,[1][2] the couple stated in a 1996 interview that they had only one child, a son.[3] The other child who is claimed to be theirs is actually the wife of their son.[4]


  1. ^ a b Gates, Anita (August 14, 2017). "Joseph Bologna, Onscreen Tough Guy with a Sense of Humor, Dies at 82". The New York Times.
  2. ^ a b Barnes, Mike (August 13, 2017). "Joseph Bologna, 'My Favorite Year' Actor and Oscar-Nominated Screenwriter, Dies at 82". The Hollywood Reporter. ISSN 0018-3660.
  3. ^ "A TAYLOR-MADE MARRIAGE WORKING WITH MY HUSBAND HAS PAID OFF FOR 30 YEARS, SAYS 'NANNY' STAR RENEE". New York Daily News. October 13, 1996. Retrieved September 14, 2021. "At 15, our son met the girl who is now his wife," says Bologna about his 27-year-old only child.
  4. ^ "'Tango Shalom' dances its way through cross-cultural tale of community". The Daily Bruin. October 13, 1996. Retrieved September 14, 2021.
  5. ^ a b "Joseph Bologna, Actor and Playwright Known for 'My Favorite Year,' Dies at 82". 14 August 2017.
  6. ^ "Actor, director and Oscar-nominated writer Joe Bologna dies at 82". Los Angeles Times. 15 August 2017.
  7. ^ "'You're Right, Dear.' 'If You Say So, Dear.'". The New York Times. 5 August 2001.
  8. ^ "Joe Bologna, 'My Favorite Year' actor and Oscar-nominated writer, dies at 82". Washington Post. 2023-04-08. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2023-07-17.
  9. ^ "Writers Guild of America, USA (1972)". IMDb. Retrieved 2022-03-14.
  10. ^ a b "Joseph Bologna (visual voices guide)". Behind The Voice Actors. Retrieved October 6, 2023. A green check mark indicates that a role has been confirmed using a screenshot (or collage of screenshots) of a title's list of voice actors and their respective characters found in its opening and/or closing credits and/or other reliable sources of information.
  11. ^ a b "Joseph Bologna". Television Academy. Retrieved 2022-03-14.
  12. ^ "Browser Unsupported - Academy Awards Search | Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences".
  13. ^ "Writers Guild of America, USA (1971)". IMDb. Retrieved 2022-03-14.

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