Julie Bovasso

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Julie Bovasso
Julie Bavasso 1956.JPG
Bovasso in 1956
Born Julia Anne Bovasso[1]
August 1, 1930
Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died September 14, 1991(1991-09-14) (aged 61)
New York City, New York, United States
Cause of death Cancer
Occupation Actress
Years active 1958–1991
Spouse(s) George Earl Ortman

Julia Anne Bovasso (August 1, 1930 – September 14, 1991) was an American actress of stage, screen and television.

Life and career[edit]

Bovasso was born in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, New York, the daughter of Angela Mary (Padovani) and Bernard Michael Bovasso, a teamster.[2] She was of Italian descent.[3]

Bovasso appeared in many films, including Saturday Night Fever (1977) as John Travolta's mother, and repeated the role in the 1983 sequel Staying Alive. She also appeared in Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon (1970), Willie & Phil (1980), The Verdict (1982), Daniel (1983), Off Beat (1986), Wise Guys (1986), Moonstruck (1987), Betsy's Wedding (1990) and My Blue Heaven (1990).

However, off-Broadway she wrote and appeared in avant-garde material, such as Jean Genet's The Maids, for which she won the very first Best Actress Obie (Off-Broadway) Award in 1956, which was presented to her by Shelley Winters.

In the mid-1950s, Bovasso established the experimental Tempo Playhouse on 8th Street/St. Marks Place in Manhattan and introduced works of the Theater of the Absurd, including those of the playwrights Jean Genet, Eugene Ionesco and Michel de Ghelderode, to the professional theater in the United States.[4]

Bovasso also performed with The Living Theater and had a longstanding relationship with La Mama Experimental Theatre Club.[5]

In addition to her work as a director and actor, her playwriting credits include the four-hour play Gloria and Esperanza, which Village Voice theatre critic Jerry Tallmer described as "a miracle, a mythopoetic fireworks display."[6] A sought-after acting coach, Bovasso was known as an exacting instructor and her private New York workshops regularly included prominent performers. As per the DVD commentary, Bovasso coached both Cher and Olympia Dukakis on their Brooklyn accents in the film Moonstruck.

In her earlier acting days, she played Rose Corelli Fraser in the short-lived soap opera, From These Roots. She was subsequently fired from that show, due to a disagreement with producers.

Bovasso was briefly married to painter George Earl Ortman.[7]

Selected theatrical credits[edit]


She died of cancer in New York City, aged 61.


External links[edit]