|Born||Richard Joseph Libertini
May 21, 1933
Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.
|Died||January 7, 2016
Venice, California, U.S.
|Alma mater||Emerson College|
|Spouse(s)||Melinda Dillon (1963–1978) (divorced)|
He was known for playing character roles and his ability to speak in numerous accents. Libertini was known for his roles in Catch-22 (1970), The In-Laws (1979), Popeye (1980), All of Me (1984), Fletch (1985), Fletch Lives (1989), Awakenings (1990), Lethal Weapon 4 (1998), and Dolphin Tale (2011).
Libertini was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He attended and graduated from Emerson College in Boston. During his early years, Libertini worked in New York City and in Chicago. He moved to Los Angeles to pursue his acting career during the 1960s.
He was an original cast member of The Mad Show, a 1966 Off-Broadway musical-comedy produced by MAD Magazine. His first film appearances were in The Night They Raided Minsky's (1968), Don't Drink the Water (1969) and Catch-22 (1970).
Two of his more memorable film roles came in the comedies Fletch (1985), in which he played Chevy Chase's character's doubting editor, a role he repeated in the 1989 sequel Fletch Lives, and The In-Laws (1979), in which he played General Garcia, an insane Latin-American dictator whose closest advisor was a cartoon face drawn on his own hand a la Senor Wences. He portrayed Nosh, an electronics expert who is the childhood best friend of Burt Reynolds's character, in Sharky's Machine (1981).
He also played a traveling vaudevillian in Terence Malick's Days of Heaven (1978), the greengrocer George W. Geezil in Robert Altman's Popeye (1980), a Hispanic priest in Best Friends (1982), the servant Giuseppe in Unfaithfully Yours (1984), spiritual advisor Prahka Lasa ("Back in Bowl!") in All of Me (1984), the bandit Dijon in Disney's animated feature film DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp (1990), and a rabbi in Lethal Weapon 4 (1998).
On television, Libertini was a series regular in the first season of Soap as The Godfather; he guest starred in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Accession" as a Bajoran called Akorem Laan, who believes himself to be the Emissary; and most recently, he appeared in the Sonny with a Chance episode "Dakota's Revenge" as Izzy, an insane mechanic. He also voiced Wally Llama on Animaniacs, and starred in three short-lived sitcoms: Family Man (1988), in which he played a middle-aged comedy writer who married a much younger woman and became a father late in life; The Fanelli Boys (1990–1991), in which he played an Italian priest; and Pacific Station (1991–1992), in which he played a police detective.
In 1978, he appeared in the Barney Miller episode "Evaluation" and he also appeared in the January 1979 episode "Middle Age."
In September 2008, Libertini appeared on the TV show Supernatural. His final film role was that of a fisherman in the 2011 film Dolphin Tale. From October 2011 through January 2012, Libertini appeared on Broadway as a rabbi in "Honeymoon Motel," the Woody Allen-penned segment of Relatively Speaking.
- The Night They Raided Minsky's (1968) - Pockets
- Don't Drink the Water (1969) - Father Drobney
- The Out-of-Towners (1970) - Baggage Man - Boston
- Catch-22 (1970) - Brother John
- Lady Liberty (1971) - Tim (uncredited)
- I Wonder Who's Killing Her Now? (1975) - Cafe Waiter / Jack Kirsten
- Fire Sale (1977) - Painter
- Days of Heaven (1978) - Vaudeville Leader
- The In-Laws (1979) - Gen. Garcia
- Popeye (1980) - Geezil
- Sharky's Machine (1981) - Nosh
- Soup for One (1982) - Angelo
- Best Friends (1982) - Jorge Medina
- Going Berserk (1983) - Rev. Sun Yi Day
- Deal of the Century (1983) - Masaggi
- Unfaithfully Yours (1984) - Giuseppe
- All of Me (1984) - Prahka Lasa
- Fletch (1985) - Frank Walker
- Big Trouble (1986) - Dr. Lopez
- Betrayed (1988) - Sam Kraus
- Fletch Lives (1989) - Frank Walker
- Animal Behavior (1989) - Doctor Parrish
- The Lemon Sisters (1989) - Nicholas Panas
- DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp (1990) - Dijon (voice)
- Awakenings (1990) - Sidney
- The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990) - Ed Rifkin
- Nell (1994) - Alexander Paley
- Cultivating Charlie (1994) - Glosser
- Lethal Weapon 4 (1998) - Rabbi Gelb (uncredited)
- Telling You (1998) - Mr. P
- The 4th Tenor (2002) - Vincenzo
- Grilled (2006) - Rabbi Silver
- Everybody Wants to Be Italian (2007) - Papa Aldo Tempesti
- A Grandpa for Christmas (2007) - Karl Sugarman
- Dolphin Tale (2011) - Fisherman
- How to Become an Outlaw (2014) - Judge
- "Richard Libertini, Actor, Dies at 82; Had Memorable Turn in ‘The In-Laws’". The New York Times. January 13, 2016.
- "Richard Libertini Dead: 'In-Laws' Actor was 82". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on February 1, 2016. Retrieved January 11, 2016.
- "Actor Richard Libertini has died at 82". Daily News. New York City. Archived from the original on May 13, 2016. Retrieved January 11, 2016.
- "Melinda Dillon Biography (1939-)". FilmReference.com. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved December 24, 2011.
- Kleiner, Dick (April 20, 1985). "Libertini Trying to Avoid Typecasting". Ocala Star-Banner. Newspaper Enterprise Association. pp. 10, 54 (TV Week supplement). Retrieved December 15, 2013.
- Pak, Eudie (December 14, 2012). "'A Christmas Story' Cast: Where Are They Now?". Biography.com (FYI / A&E Networks). Retrieved January 10, 2016.
- "Libertini — Richard Joseph,". "Death Notices", The New York Times. January 10, 2016. Archived from the original on June 1, 2016. Retrieved January 10, 2016.