Actor Abe Vigoda Is Dead (Again)
NEW YORK (AP) – Character actor Abe Vigoda has died.
Vigoda’s daughter, Carol Vigoda Fuchs, told The Associated Press that Vigoda died Tuesday morning in his sleep. He was 94 and had been staying at Fuchs’ home in Woodland Park, New Jersey. She said the cause of death was old age. "This man was never sick," Fuchs said.
Vigoda’s leathery, sunken-eyed face made him ideal for playing his two most noted roles, the over-the-hill detective Phil Fish in the 1970s TV series "Barney Miller" and the doomed Mafia soldier in "The Godfather."
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Vigoda was a go-to character actor on TV in the 1960s and 70s. He appeared on such seminal shows as Dark Shadowsk, Mannix, Love American Style, Hawaii 5-0, Kojack, The Bionic Woman, The Rockford Files and The Love Boat.
He finally landed a recurring role on Barney Miller, where he portrayed detective Fish.
The 70s comedy has often been cited by police as one of the most accurate TV portrayals, because it showed the mundane side of crime.
Vigoda then starred in a spinoff series called Fish.
It became a running gag for Conan O’Brien and David Letterman.