Michael V. Gazzo

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Michael V. Gazzo
Frank Pentangeli
Michael V. Gazzo portraying Frank Pentangeli in the film The Godfather Part II
Born Michael Vincenzo Gazzo
(1923-04-05)April 5, 1923
Hillside, New Jersey, U.S.
Died February 14, 1995(1995-02-14) (aged 71)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Occupation Playwright, actor
Years active 1953–1994

Michael Vincenzo Gazzo (April 5, 1923 – February 14, 1995) was an American playwright who later in life became a film and television actor.[1]

Gazzo was a member of the Actors Studio and would later go on to train such actors as Debra Winger, Henry Silva and Tony Sirico. He authored the gritty Broadway play about drug addiction A Hatful of Rain, which ran for 389 performances in 1955 and 1956. It starred Ben Gazzara and Shelley Winters in the two lead roles, and subsequently was adapted into a film by Oscar-winning director Fred Zinnemann in 1957. The movie was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Anthony Franciosa). A 1968 made-for-television version (as a filmed play) starred Peter Falk, Sandy Dennis and Michael Parks.[2] Gazzo's other screen writing credits include the Elvis Presley American musical drama King Creole in 1958.[3] He also authored Broadway play 'The Night Circus' starring Ben Gazzara.[4]

As an actor, Gazzo was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Frank Pentangeli in The Godfather Part II. He lost to Robert De Niro, who played Vito Corleone in the same film.[citation needed]


Gazzo died in 1995 due to complications from a stroke.[5] He was buried in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles.




  • Bacarella, Michael, ItalActors: 101 Years of Italian Actors in U.S. Entertainment, The National Italian American Foundation.

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