Nick Apollo Forte
Nick Apollo Forte (born Nicola Antonio Forte, June 14, 1938 in Waterbury, Connecticut), is an American musician and actor.
At age 12, Forte won a local talent contest playing "Lady of Spain" on piano. At 18, he got his first break playing second billing to Della Reese at the famed Apollo Theatre; this led him to change his performing name to "Nick Apollo Forte" and drop out of high school to pursue a music career. He married Rosalie Trapasso, a clerk at the shoe store he was managing, in 1958; the couple have seven children and 22 grandchildren.
After many years of singing in lounges and producing and distributing his own records, a casting agent for Woody Allen discovered one of Forte's albums, Images, in a record store on Broadway. Allen cast the singer as Lou Canova in the 1984 film Broadway Danny Rose, where he received good reviews and even calls for his performance to be nominated for an Academy Award (which ultimately did not happen). Forte also appeared on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show on February 16, 1984.
Suddenly thrust into the spotlight, Forte was cast in a TV pilot, Mr. Success, in which he played a "loveable shlump" who worked in a department store. Although the show was tailor-made for Forte, the program was beset by problems, and he was replaced by James Coco. (The pilot aired on CBS on June 23, 1984, but did not sell.) Forte returned to working lounges, but has made a few screen appearances in subsequent years: a guest spot on The Ellen Burstyn Show in 1987 and the Showtime series Billions in 2016 -- both times (as in Broadway Danny Rose) basically playing himself.
Forte spends most of his time with his family and fishing. He sings his famous songs and still plays music, and is known to sing sea shanties as well while dancing the jig. He is well known for his radio commercials for Goodyear Tires.
- Jarvis, Jeff (27 February 1984). "No Longer Just a Tickler of Ivories, Nick Apollo Forte Is Woody Allen's Latest Discovery". People. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
- "Unsold Television Pilots", p. 1997
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