Vic Tayback

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Vic Tayback
Vic Tayback 1976.JPG
Tayback in 1976
Born (1930-01-06)January 6, 1930
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Died May 25, 1990(1990-05-25) (aged 60)
Glendale, California, U.S.
Cause of death Heart attack
Occupation Film, television actor
Years active 1958-1990
Spouse(s) Sheila McKay Barnard (1962-1990; by his death)

Victor "Vic" Tayback (January 6, 1930 – May 25, 1990) was an American actor, known for his role as diner owner Mel Sharples in the 1974 film Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore and in its television adaptation, Alice, which ran from 1976 to 1985.

Life and career[edit]

Tayback was born in Brooklyn, New York City, New York, the son of Helen (née Hanood) and Najeeb James Tayback.[1] His parents were immigrants from Aleppo, Syria.[2] Tayback moved with his family to Burbank, California, during his teenage years and attended Burbank High School. He ended up living in the area for the rest of his life, eventually moving to nearby Glendale, California, where he resided until his death.

A life member of The Actors Studio,[3] Tayback was a familiar face on television in the 1960s and 70s, appearing on numerous shows as a character actor. Two notable appearances were in the "Et tu, Archie?" fourth season episode of All in the Family as Archie's old friend, Joe Tucker, and as the 1920s style gangster-boss 'Jojo Krako' in the Star Trek episode "A Piece of the Action".

Tayback's most famous role was diner owner Mel Sharples in both the 1974 movie Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore and in the television series, Alice, which ran from 1976 to 1985. He was the only actor of the original film to reprise his role in the series.[4]



Guest Star[edit]

(Selected appearances)


  • Alice (Ep: "Alice Faces the Music")

Other credits[edit]

Tayback also appeared in TV commercials including one for Aqua Velva after-shave lotion as a spectator in the stands who shouts at then-Cincinnati Reds third baseman Pete Rose "Hey, Pete Rose! What does a man really want in an after-shave lotion?" Another humorous commercial portrayed Tayback as the annoyed owner of a new 1968 American Motors Javelin, saying "Get away from that car!" to a gang of toughs admiring the new muscle car.

One of Tayback's last roles was in the 1989 video remake of the Buck Owens (and later The Beatles) hit "Act Naturally" which featured Owens and former Beatle Ringo Starr.


Tayback died of a heart attack in 1990 and was interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles. Tayback was survived by his wife Sheila, whom he married in 1962. They had one son, Christopher Tayback, who briefly acted before attending law school.


  1. ^ "Vic Tayback Biography (1930-1990)". Retrieved 2011-05-06. 
  2. ^ "Archives: Chicago Tribune". Retrieved 2011-05-06. 
  3. ^ Garfield, David (1980). "Appendix: Life Members of The Actors Studio as of January 1980". A Player's Place: The Story of The Actors Studio. New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc. p. 280. ISBN 0-02-542650-8. 
  4. ^ Film co-star Diane Ladd joined Alice mid-series playing a different character, and Alfred Lutter reprised his film role as Tommy for the pilot episode only.

External links[edit]