July 31, 1932|
Jersey City, New Jersey, U.S.
|Died||February 5, 2012
Leonia, New Jersey, U.S.
Sam Coppola (July 31, 1932 – February 5, 2012) was an American actor. He appeared in almost 70 films, beginning in 1968, but may be best remembered for his role as Dan Fusco, owner of the Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, hardware and paint store, in Saturday Night Fever, who gave John Travolta's character sage but salty advice in the classic 1977 film. Later in his career, Coppola made a brief but memorable appearance on The Sopranos as the idiosyncratic family therapist of Jennifer Melfi.
Coppola was a cop in Serpico (1973), starring Al Pacino, and a detective in Fatal Attraction (1987), starring Michael Douglas and Glenn Close. His many TV credits include The Practice, The Good Wife, Law & Order, The Sopranos, Ryan's Hope and the 2001 A&E movie The Big Heist, in which he portrayed mob boss Paul Castellano. Coppola, no relation to film director Francis Ford Coppola, played a nursing home resident in a Chevy commercial that aired during 2011's Super Bowl and a hot dog vendor in a Ball Park Franks spot starring Michael Jordan.
Coppola, a 38-year resident of Leonia, also had many stage roles. He played the hobo Vladimir in a 2005 off-Broadway production of "Waiting for Godot" and an aging real estate salesman, Aaronow, in a 2000 production of Glengarry Glen Ross at the McCarter Theatre in Princeton.
Coppola died February 5, 2012 from an aneurysm, and was predeceased by his wife, Helen. He is survived by his children, Jason Coppola of Brooklyn and Samantha Coppola of Bogota, and three grandchildren.
- No Way to Treat a Lady (1968) - Customer (uncredited)
- Interplay (1970) - Mel
- The Anderson Tapes (1971) - Private Detective
- The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight (1971) - Julie
- Serpico (1973) - Cop (uncredited)
- Crazy Joe (1974) - Chick
- Death Journey (1976) - Detective Johnson
- Saturday Night Fever (1977) - Dan Fusco
- Fingers (1978) - Sam
- King of the Gypsies (1978) - (uncredited)
- Without a Trace (1983) - Schoyer
- Fatal Attraction (1987) - Fuselli
- Zits (1988) - Principal
- Blue Steel (1989) - PBA Representative
- She's Back (1989) - Det. Brophy
- Street Hunter (1990) - Jannelli
- Jacob's Ladder (1990) - Taxi Driver
- A Kiss Before Dying (1991) - Detective Michaelson
- Joey Breaker (1993) - Sid Kramer
- Money for Nothing (1993) - Bartender Lindey
- Palookaville (1995) - Mr. Kott, Money Truck Driver
- The Deli (1997) - Mr. Bishop
- A Wake in Providence (1999) - Uncle Joe
- Blue Moon (2000) - Bill
- Sally (2000) - Dr. Felch
- Friends and Family (2001) - Carlo Ricci
- Empire (2002) - Bobby Gold
- Nola (2003) - Gus
- Heavy Petting (2007) - Old Codger #1
- House of Satisfaction (2008) - Barry
- Reunion (2009) - Max
- Run It (2009) - Vinny
- Driving Me Crazy (2012) - Larry Petterson
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