Tony Danza

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Tony Danza
Tony Danza.jpg
Danza in 2003
Anthony Salvatore Iadanza

April 21, 1951 (1951-04-21) (age 72)
Alma materUniversity of Dubuque (BA)
Years active1978–present
  • Rhonda Yeoman
    (m. 1970; div. 1974)
  • Tracy Robinson
    (m. 1986; div. 2013)

Tony Danza (born Anthony Salvatore Iadanza; April 21, 1951)[1] is an American actor. He is known for co-starring in the television series Taxi (1978–1983) and Who's the Boss? (1984–1992), for which he was nominated for an Emmy Award and four Golden Globe Awards. In 1998, Danza won the People's Choice Award for Favorite Male Performer in a New Television Series for his work on the 1997 sitcom The Tony Danza Show (not to be confused with his 2004–2006 daytime variety talk show of the same name). He has also appeared in films such as The Hollywood Knights (1980), Going Ape! (1981), Angels in the Outfield (1994), Crash (2004), and Don Jon (2013).

Early life[edit]

Danza was born on April 21, 1951, in Brooklyn, New York,[1] to parents Anna Mary (née Camisa; 1925–1993) and Matthew Anthony "Matty" Iadanza (1920–1983).[2][3] His mother was a bookkeeper and his father worked as a waste collector in Brooklyn.[1][4] Danza's paternal grandparents were from Pietrelcina, Benevento, Campania, Italy, and his mother was an immigrant from the town of Campobello di Mazara in the Sicilian province of Trapani.[2][3][5] He has a younger brother, Matty Jr. (born 1954), a Los Angeles restaurant owner.[6] He lived in East New York, Brooklyn[7] until he was 14, and his family relocated to Malverne, New York, on Long Island. Danza attended Malverne Senior High School, graduating in 1968. In the first episode of his show Teach: Tony Danza, Danza describes himself as a "bad student" in high school. He earned a bachelor's degree in history in 1972 from the University of Dubuque,[8] which he attended on a wrestling scholarship. In 1975, as a joke, Danza's friends entered him in the New York City Golden Gloves. After knocking out his first six opponents all in the first round, Danza was knocked out in the finals.[9]

During his first year of college, he had the Robert Crumb "Keep on Truckin'" character tattooed on his upper right arm. In a 1985 interview in Us Weekly magazine, Danza remarked, "I was playing pool with a guy who had all these tattoos, and I wanted to be friends."[10] Danza also sports a "Keep Punching" boxing gloves tattoo on his right shoulder as well as "Tracy", his (former) wife's name, on his chest.[11] In college, Danza met and married his first wife.



Danza was a professional boxer with a record of 9 wins and 3 losses (9 knockouts, 7 in the first round), with all but one of his fights ending in a knockout, including three technical knockouts.[12]

Acting and show business[edit]

Danza in 1995
Danza in 2012

Shortly after his college graduation from the University of Dubuque, Danza was discovered by a producer at a boxing gymnasium in New York.[13] He then earned a spot on the television show Taxi, playing a cab driver and part-time boxer Tony Banta, and later starred on Who's the Boss?, in which he portrayed Tony Micelli, a former baseball player, housekeeper, and single father. For his contribution to the television industry, in 1988, Danza was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7000 Hollywood Boulevard. Danza also plays the role of Mel Clark, a baseball player, in Angels in the Outfield (1994).

Danza also starred in the short-lived sitcoms Hudson Street (1995) and The Tony Danza Show (1997), not to be confused with his 2004–2006 talk show, The Tony Danza Show. He had a role in the TV drama Family Law from 2000 until 2002.

He was nominated for an Emmy Award[14] for a guest-starring 1998 role in the TV series The Practice. His movie debut was in the comedy The Hollywood Knights (1980), which was followed by Going Ape! (1981). He received critical acclaim for his performance in the 1999 Broadway revival of the Eugene O'Neill play The Iceman Cometh. In 2002, Danza released his debut album The House I Live In as a 1950s-style crooner.[15]

Danza hosted his own TV talk show, The Tony Danza Show, that was produced each weekday morning in his hometown of New York and was syndicated across the US. On May 9, 2005, during a go-kart race with NASCAR star Rusty Wallace, who was a guest on the show, Danza's kart flipped after Wallace accidentally bumped him.[16] Neither he nor Wallace was wearing a helmet at the time, and both were uninjured. Danza returned to go-kart racing on October 20, 2005, to challenge IndyCar driver Danica Patrick, but his brakes malfunctioned and he skidded into a wall, unharmed. His daytime talk show ended in May 2006; the last live episode aired on May 26, 2006.[citation needed]

He starred on Broadway as Max Bialystock in The Producers, from December 19, 2006, to March 11, 2007,[17] and reprised his role at the Paris Las Vegas from August 13, 2007,[18] to February 9, 2008.[19]

Danza hosted the 4th season of The Contender in 2008.[20]

A Broadway adaptation of the 1992 film Honeymoon in Vegas opened on a pre-Broadway run at New Jersey's Paper Mill Playhouse on September 26, 2013, co-starring Danza and Tony nominee Rob McClure, with Gary Griffin directing.[21] Danza was inducted into the Ride of Fame in December 2014, and the double-decker sightseeing bus commemorated his role in the Broadway musical.[22]

Danza starred as Tony Caruso Sr. in the 2018 Netflix series, The Good Cop as "a disgraced, former NYPD officer who never followed the rules." It was cancelled after one season.[23][24]


During the 2009–2010 school year Danza filmed A&E reality show Teach: Tony Danza, in which he co-instructed a 10th grade English class at Northeast High School in Philadelphia. It premiered on October 1, 2010. The book I'd Like to Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had: My Year as a Rookie Teacher at Northeast High (ISBN 9780307887863), which was released in 2012, was based on his year of teaching.

Personal life[edit]

Danza's first marriage was to Rhonda Yeoman. They wed in 1970 and divorced in 1974. Their son Marc appeared with Danza on Taxi in two episodes as Brian Sims.[25]

In 1986, Danza married Tracy Robinson. The couple separated in 2006 and filed for divorce on March 10, 2011; the divorce was finalized on February 6, 2013.[26][27] They have two daughters.[25]

In 2008, Danza and his son Marc co-authored a cookbook, Don't Fill Up on the Antipasto: Tony Danza's Father-Son Cookbook.[28]

At one point Danza was a partner in Alleva Dairy, promoted as America's oldest cheese shop, on Grand Street in the Little Italy section of Manhattan.[29]

Boxing record[edit]


Boxing record
No. Result Record Opponent Method Round Time Date Location Notes
12 Win 9–3 Johnny Heard KO 3 (8) 0:45 May 14, 1979 Phoenix, Arizona, US
11 Win 8–3 Max Hord KO 1 (10) April 27, 1979 Felt Forum, New York City, New York City
10 Win 7–3 Billy Perez KO 1 (8) 0:44 May 26, 1978 Brooklyn, New York City
9 Win 6–3 Tony Rodriguez   KO 1 (6) April 9, 1978 Brooklyn, New York City
8 Win 5–3 Ray Bryant KO 1 (8)   December 21, 1977   Roll-a-Rama, Brooklyn, New York City
7 Loss 4–3 Morris Watkins TKO 1 (8) November 9, 1977   Westchester County Center, White Plains, New York City  
6 Win 4–2 Ralph Garcia TKO 1 (8) September 9, 1977 Nanuet, New York City
5 Win 3–2 Joey Mascetti TKO 1 (6) May 24, 1977   Westchester County Center, White Plains, New York City  
4 Win 2–2 Tom Molloy KO 3 (6) 1:24 May 6, 1977 Long Island Arena, Commack, New York City
3 Loss 1–2 Barry Hill Points 4 April 21, 1977 Dover, New Jersey, USA
2 Loss 1–1 John LoCicero KO 1 (4) October 1, 1976 Sunnyside Gardens, Queens, New York City
1 Win 1–0 Earl Harris KO 1 (4) August 13, 1976 New York City



Year Title Role Notes
1980 The Hollywood Knights Duke
1981 Going Ape! Foster
1984 Cannonball Run II Tony
1988 Mr. Thompson and His Bananas Tony Thompson
Wall of Tyranny (a.k.a. Freedom Fighter) Victor Ross
1989 She's Out of Control Doug Simpson
I'm from Hollywood Himself
1994 Angels in the Outfield Mel Clark
1996 Illtown D'Avalon
Dear God Himself Uncredited
1997 Glam Sid Dalgren
The Girl Gets Moe Moe
A Brooklyn State of Mind Louie Crisci
Meet Wally Sparks New York Cab Driver
2004 The Whisper Simon
Crash Fred
2006 Cloud 9 Himself Uncredited
2009 The Nail: The Story of Joey Nardone Chickie
2010 Firedog Rocky
2013 Don Jon Jon Martello Sr.
Aftermath King
2021 Rumble Siggy (voice)
2022 Darby and the Dead


Year Title Role Notes
1978–1983 Taxi Tony Banta 114 episodes
1980 Murder Can Hurt You Pony Lambretta Television film
1983 The Love Boat Bud O'Hara 2 episodes
1984 Single Bars, Single Women Dennis Television film
1984–1992 Who's the Boss? Tony Micelli 196 episodes
1986 Sesame Street Himself 3 episodes
Doing Life Jerry Rosenberg Television film
1988 1988 Kids' Choice Awards Host
Freedom Fighter Vic Ross Television film
1991 The Whereabouts of Jenny Rowdy Patron Television film
Dead and Alive: The Race for Gus Farace Constabile "Gus" Farace Television film
1991–1992 Baby Talk Baby Mickey Campbell (voice) 35 episodes
1994 The Mighty Jungle Vinnie, The Alligator (voice) Unknown episodes
The Mighty Jungle Vinnie, The Alligator (voice) Television film
1995 Deadly Whispers Tom Acton Television film
1995–1996 Hudson Street Tony Canetti 22 episodes
1996 North Shore Fish Sal Television film
1997 12 Angry Men Juror #7 Television film
1997–1998 The Tony Danza Show Tony DiMeo 14 episodes
1998 The Garbage Picking Field Goal Kicking Philadelphia Phenomenon Barney Gorman Television film
The Practice Tommy Silva 4 episodes
Noah Norman Waters Television film
A Capitol Fourth Himself (host)
2000–2002 Family Law Joe Celano 25 episodes
2000 King of the Hill Himself (voice) Episode: "Peggy's Fan Fair"
2001 Family Guy Episode: "Ready, Willing and Disabled"
Bette Himself Episode: “Of Men and Meatballs”
2003 Stealing Christmas Jack Clayton / Santa Television film
2004–2006 The Tony Danza Show Himself Host; 330 episodes
2005 All My Children Hotel Manager Episode: "May 18, 2005"
2007 A Capitol Fourth Himself (host)
2008 Rita Rocks Matt Morelli Episode: "The Crying Game"
2010 Teach: Tony Danza Himself 7 episodes
2016 Broad City Mr. Abrams Episode: "Philadelphia"
Sebastian Says Salvo Television film
2017 There's... Johnny! Fred de Cordova 6 episodes
2018 The Good Cop Tony Caruso Sr. 10 episodes
2020 Outmatched Jay Bennett Episode: "Grandparents"
2022 Blue Bloods[31] Lieutenant Raymond Moretti Episode: "Allegiance"
2022 Finding Your Roots Himself Episode: "Fighters"
2022 Power Book III: Raising Kanan Stefano Marchetti Guest (season 2)
Recurring role (season 3)

Awards and nominations[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Tony Danza Biography (1951–)".
  2. ^ a b "Ann Iadanza". Variety. June 23, 1993. Retrieved May 26, 2012.
  3. ^ a b Stated on Finding Your Roots, February 8, 2022
  4. ^ Wharton, Rachel (June 13, 2008). "Tony Danza's the boss in the kitchen with new cookbook". Daily News. New York. Retrieved May 26, 2012.
  5. ^
  6. ^ Tony Danza's TCM bio
  7. ^ Frishberg, Hannah (November 14, 2016). "Tony Danza Talks His New Play, Growing Up in Brooklyn, And Fresh Mozzarella". Bklynr. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  8. ^ University of Dubuque website
  9. ^ Tony Danza profile, Retrieved May 20, 2014.
  10. ^ "Danza, Father and (Finally) Grown-up" by Steve Pond. Us Weekly, August 26, 1985
  11. ^ "Tony Danza President Puncher". Maxim. Archived from the original on June 14, 2012. Retrieved June 17, 2011.
  12. ^ Rafael, Dan (October 1, 2008). "'The Contender' to feature two ex-title challengers; TV star Danza to host". ESPN. Retrieved December 17, 2008.
  13. ^ "Meet Tony".
  14. ^ "Tony Danza: Awards and Nominations". Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved February 6, 2017.
  15. ^ "The House I Live in by Tony Danza". 2011. Archived from the original on April 26, 2012. Retrieved February 6, 2017.
  16. ^ "Wallace swaps go-cart paint with Danza". MSNBC. Associated Press. May 10, 2005. Archived from the original on January 12, 2012. Retrieved June 17, 2011.
  17. ^ Gans, Andrew (December 19, 2006). "He's the Boss: Tony Danza Joins Broadway's Producers Dec. 19". Playbill. Archived from the original on October 21, 2012. Retrieved June 17, 2011.
  18. ^ Jones, Kenneth (June 19, 2007). "Tony Danza to 'Flaunt It' in Las Vegas Producers This Summer". Archived from the original on December 4, 2008. Retrieved February 6, 2017.
  19. ^ Jones, Kenneth (February 9, 2008). "Vegas Production of The Producers Ends Feb. 9". Archived from the original on April 15, 2008. Retrieved February 6, 2017.
  20. ^ Bracchitta, John (September 30, 2008). "Danza hosts The Contender". Retrieved October 24, 2010.
  21. ^ Grant, Diamond (September 26, 2013). "Tony Danza Leads Honeymoon in Vegas in Pre-Broadway Run in New Jersey". Retrieved September 28, 2010.
  22. ^ Voltaw, Melanie (December 1, 2014). "Tony Danza Dedicates Doubledecker Bus in NYC". Retrieved February 6, 2017.
  23. ^ Otterson, Joe, "Tony Danza to Star in Netflix Series ‘The Good Cop’," Variety, June 19, 2017
  24. ^ Zuckerman, Esther, "Tony Danza to play a bad cop in Netflix’s The Good Cop," A.V. Club, June 19, 2017
  25. ^ a b D'Zurilla, Christie (February 8, 2013). "Tony Danza's divorce finalized – finally!". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 6, 2017.
  26. ^ "Tony Danze Divorced: Officially The Boss ... of Himself". February 7, 2013. Retrieved February 6, 2017.
  27. ^ "Tony Danza Files for Divorce After 24 Years of Marriage". TV Guide. March 10, 2011. Retrieved June 17, 2011.
  28. ^ "Tony and Mark Danza's Favorite Family Recipes". ABC News. May 20, 2008. Retrieved June 17, 2011.
  29. ^ "Tony Danza is partners at Alleva Dairy in Little Italy, says election race is 'bizarre' and 'very unsettling'". New York Daily News.
  30. ^ Boxing record for Tony Danza from BoxRec (registration required)
  31. ^ "Listings - BLUE BLOODS on CBS". The Futon Critic. Retrieved February 26, 2022.

External links[edit]

Preceded by Host of Miss America
Succeeded by