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Veteran actor Robert Loggia dies at 85

LOS ANGELES — Robert Loggia, a durable and versatile tough guy actor in movies and TV shows including Brian De Palma’s 1983 drama “Scarface” and “Big,” died Friday at his home in Los Angeles, his widow Audrey confirmed to Variety. He was 85.

Loggia had been battling Alzheimer’s for the past five years, according to his widow. They had been married for 33 years.

He was nominated for a supporting actor Academy Award for “Jagged Edge” in 1986 for his portrayal of blunt private detective Sam Ransom.

Loggia’s most notable film credits included “An Officer and a Gentleman,” “Prizzi’s Honor,” “Independence Day,” David Lynch’s “Lost Highway” and “Big,” in which he played a toy company owner and performed a memorable duet on a giant foot-operated piano with Tom Hanks. He played Miami drug lord Frank Lopez in “Scarface.”

Loggia was nominated for an Emmy in 1989 for his portrayal of FBI agent Nick Mancuso in the series “Mancuso FBI” — which has a spin-off of the character he created in the “Favorite Son” miniseries starring Harry Hamlin — and again in 2000 for his guest star role in “Malcolm in the Middle.”

Loggia was a versatile supporting actor, assembling credits on three different episodes of “The Rockford Files” as three different characters. He also appeared in three different “Pink Panther” movies with three different character names.

Loggia played Anwar Sadat in the 1982 TV movie “A Woman Called Golda” opposite Ingrid Bergman. He also portrayed fearsome mobster-bakery owner Feech La Manna on several episodes of “The Sopranos.”

Loggia was a native of Staten Island, born to Italian immigrants. He received a football scholarship to Wagner College and transferred to the University of Missouri. After serving two years in the U.S. Army, he began classes with Stella Adler and at the Actors Studio.

“He loved being an actor,” his widow told Variety. “He used to say that he never had to work. He never had to wait tables.”

“I loved Bob like a father,” Lionsgate Vice Chairman Michael Burns told Variety. “I will miss him tremendously.”

He broke into the entertainment business performing in stage plays in New York. His first film credit came in 1957 in the noirish “The Garment Jungle.” His first TV credits came in 1958 in “The Nine Lives of Elfego Baca” in a series of Walt Disney TV shows. He starred in the 1966-67 series “T.H.E. Cat” as a former circus aerialist and cat burglar turned professional bodyguard who would introduce himself as “T. Hewitt Edward Cat.”

Loggia’s TV credits included “The Untouchables,” “Columbo,” “Gunsmoke,” “Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea,” “The Big Valley,” “Rawhide,” “Little House on the Prairie,” “Starsky and Hutch,” “Charlie’s Angels,” “Magnum, P.I.,” “Kojak,” “Hawaii Five-0,” “The Bionic Woman,” “Frasier” and “Monk.”

His other film roles include “Revenge of the Pink Panther,” “Trail of the Pink Panther,” “Curse of the Pink Panther,” “Over The Top,” “Necessary Roughness,” “Return to Me” and “Armed and Dangerous.”

Loggia is survived by his widow; three children, Tracy, John and Kristina, and a stepchild, Cynthia.

His family has asked that donations be made to the Motion Picture and Television Fund. Loggia was an active supporter of the fund.

Funeral services will be private.

 

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