Oscar-Nominated Actor Robert Loggia Dies at 85

Robert Loggia Dead
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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 Disease 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 and four children, Tracy, John, Kristina and 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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  1. Sal U. Lloyd says:

    Liked him in INDEPENDENCE DAY! RIP

  2. Paul Lamun says:

    I remember staying up to see THE CAT as it aired at midnight. My mom was not thrilled but I was because he was up there with Sean Connery, and Batman. Will never forget him. or those times.

    I have early onset dementia myself so I hope to meet him in heaven.

  3. 52bronx says:

    Ever since I was a kid and saw him portray Elfego Baca on the Wonderful World of Disney I have been a fan. Requiescat In Pace Mr. Loggia

  4. There was something about Robert Loggia that was very endearing to me; his voice, his looks, his demeanor, the characters he played (I did not see all of them but always enjoyed watching him), and I am not surprised to hear he was a man of good character and a good family man. After all, he was Italian!

  5. Fred60 says:

    Robert was a fine actor, I enjoyed him in his roles.

  6. Pony says:

    He Will Be Missed….!!!

  7. Emilio Largo says:

    Countless times I was supposed to give up a Sunday afternoon and track his home address down just to shake his hand. So much for putting things off. Absolutely LOVED him. Very Sad day :-(

  8. James McDonald says:

    I mostly remember Robert Loggia from the movie, An Officer and a Gentleman (1982). It was a small role, but memorable.

  9. Sorrry what happen to Robert loggia his family are in my prayer

  10. Joe Blevins says:

    He said, ” Every role in life won’t be ‘Shakespeare!’ But always act like ANY role you have is the lead in ‘Macbeth’!” We talked a number of times. But mostly on Twitter. He kept a busy schedule, always! A fine person I felt honored to know. God Bless him and his family.

  11. Margo Easton says:

    Rest in peace, Robert Loggia. I grew up watching you. You were a great an very under-rated actor. Thank you.

  12. jonahfalcon says:

    Funny, but personally, I remember Loggia from Wild Palms, so delightfully evil and goofy in that miniseries.

  13. Joe Blevins says:

    I was friends with Mr. Robert Loggia. We worked together in a film shot at at an old mansion at White Rock lake, (Dallas, Texas) with Miss Faye Dunaway in 2005. Mr. Loggia is an amazing person and quite the versatile actor. He always played a tough character that you don’t mess with! I real life he was funny and insightful. I think he deserves a lifetime Oscar for his numerous movie and television appearances. “Prizzie’s Honor” and “Jagged Edge” are two films where he should have won an Oscar. He was the mafia leader who mentored the young thug in “Scarface.” You see him in most every important television show as in “Rawhide”, “Wild, Wild West,” “Alfred Hitchcock” To Disney in the 1950’s. Too many characters to mention here. Many people owe their success in acting due to his efforts. A great guy. God Bless him and his family. He will be missed. Please honor Mister Robert Loggia with a Lifetime Oscar for his outstanding acting and numerous characters that added to many movies and made an outstanding contribution to the film arts.

  14. Alex says:

    Great film though guy, God rest him.

  15. Andronicos says:

    Rest in Peace, Big Guy..Thanks For the Memories, and in making every thing you appeared in worth watching. Our condolensces to the Family. From ” Old New York”.

  16. A very fine actor, indeed. Many sterling performances. He and Tom Hanks did the best piano duet on screen.

  17. philohio says:

    Sorry to hear this, great actor.

  18. LoisJWilliams says:

    It’s disheartening to think that Loggia spent his last few years up here in Toronto appearing (with a veritable cornucopia of DTV D-listers) in a series of dreadful vanity movies cranked out by the delusional, self-obsessed, trapezoidally-headed uber-hack Frank D’Angelo, Canada’s answer to Tommy Wiseau, only with a permanent Goodfellas disposition and more money to make his universally bad starring features look half-ways professional. “Look” I said, not “be”.

    D’Angelo runs his family’s food company here. It pays for his movie dalliances despite its products being almost non-existent in Canadian grocery chains. He also created an Italian-Canadian international Film Festival of sorts wherein his shows always win major awards (go figure). He also owns a couple of restaurants here in the city, records albums no one buys and tours with a jazz big band that is far, FAR too good for him, shoots a “talk show” in the basement of one of his restos (with an audience of about 12 and an applause track of hundreds) which he then gets aired on late night national TV because he pays for the airtime as you would for an infomercial. He’s even premiered a few of his movies at the TIFF Bell Lightbox here (conveniently steps away from his supper club where he recommends the veal), filming the events for broadcast (and rebroadcast and rebroadcast) in his “talk show” slot. and making a mostly empty theatre sound like its at capacity by looping in stadium-sized applause after the fact. His behind the scenes thingies MUST be see to be believed. He’s a consummate showman for sure, but with nothing worthwhile to show.

    Loggia’s appearances in Frank’s “films” are rather sad affairs, because it’s obvious he’s not well and may not even know where he is, but he does what he can (and as his wife says, he loved his work, so even roles in gruellingly bad movies like D’Angelo’s probably gave him something to live for), but seeing Loggia in an infomercial-within-D’Angelo’s-talk-show-infomercial extolling the virtues of Frank’s house brand bottled spring water really takes the cake. And I’m sure Frank will continue to run them every Friday late night, in “honour” of his late pal. Swell guy, that Frank.

    If I had the ability to turn off this kind of frustratingly-compelling late-night TV infomercial crap, I wouldn’t have to report any of this, but hey, I’m sick, I need help.

    Of course, in his latest awfully-written, essentially ad-libbed excretion SICILIAN VAMPIRE, D’Angelo not only captured one of Loggia’s final, sad meandering performances, he also managed against all seeming probability to wrangle the participation of James Caan (!) who, in the behind-the-scenes cast dinner which D’Angelo exploits ad nauseam on his horribly, horribly watchable train wreck of a “talk show”, seems to be exhibiting early signs of addle-mindedness himself, though presumably not of the Alzheimer’s variety that afflicted Mr. Loggia, who’s also visible at this dinner looking alternately bewildered and sad.

    Anyway, I digress. As much as I can’t stand Frank D’Angelo and his monstrously huge ego and his complete lack of humility and his William Beaudine-esque hack-workery and his ceaseless, grating ability to talk over guests more famous and interesting than he is just because he can and his flooding of the IMDB listings for his films with endless fake 10-star reviews, it would be interesting to see Variety run a piece on his little shitty movie empire up here. I’ll give him credit for keeping the damned thing going in the face of ample evidence he has no talent outside of hiring skilled DP’s who really should reconsider their associations before its too late for their careers, and for meeting the fees of (and providing free Italian meals to) washed-up Hollywood sideliners like Michael Pare, Daniel Baldwin, Michael Madsen, Steven Bauer, Margot Kidder, Art Hindle, Doris Roberts (!), Nick Mancuso, Eric Roberts, Tony Rosato, Robert Davi, Armand Assante and many, many more — but considering D’Angelo’s checkered history in both his business endeavours and the Canadian court system, there’s undoubtedly an interesting story there, even if it would only serve to inflate Frank’s ridiculous ego to ever more epic proportions.

    Anyway, R.I.P. Mr. Loggia. Good to know Frank can’t get at you anymore.

  19. Pil Marlowe says:

    Hey Dave at Variety….How could you have missed mentioning one of Robert’s greatest starring TV roles….T.H.E. CAT on NBC ?

  20. Erik T says:

    he was incredible and a magnetic force in Wild Palms, an overlooked gem of TV mini series on ABC years ago. great body of work he had…

  21. Hidehito says:

    I had seen his works since Psycho 2. From major studio works like INDEPENDENCE DAY , SCARFACE, BIG to Independent films like Relentless, he has done his best. True professional actor. Rest in Peace.

  22. Roland Hill says:

    Fantastic character actor. He could play anything thrown at him, and never delivered a bad performance. Even in movies that don’t work, he was usually the best thing in it, (Innocent Blood). Very sand, we won’t see the likes of these guys again.

  23. Jim says:

    Thomas Hewart Edward Cat. Loved that show

  24. MGBguy says:

    As a kid I enjoyed Robert Loggia in T.H.E. Cat. Mr. Loggia always delivered memorable performances no matter how small (Independence Day). Some actors never garner the fame of others, but they stay in the minds of their fans. To his family, friends, and fans I offer my condolences.

  25. Chad Baker says:

    May my prayers go to Robert L and family he was the good actor funny sometimes May he rest in peace God bless

  26. Jerry Sherman says:

    He also played Decker on “Matt Houston”.

  27. John Methfessel says:

    Robert Loggia grew up in Grant City on Staten Island. The next town was New Dorp. During those years he was “Bobby” Loggia and his closest friends were Jackie McDonald, my brother, Herm (Bud) Methfessel. During those formative years he was always at our house at 23 Burbank Avenue, New Dorp. My mom would play the piano and he would sing and he loved the dramatics my mom would often teach him. We always had a great time when he was at our house and he remained close friends with my brother, Herm, who passed away one year ago. They stayed in touch over the years and now my brother, Herm, and his pal, Bobby, can be together again as they were when we were growing up on Staten Island. He was a great actor who worked infinitely more than the most famous actors and probably made a hell of a lot more money than they did because he was always employed. I will miss him, his personality, his laughter, and his charm. My brother and his buddy can now be together again….. John Methfessel

  28. BW Mitchell says:

    I was hoping “Over The Top” would be included in the title of this piece. Bob was one of the best serious actors we’ve ever had. One of the best… and he was a magical force playing Cutler in “OTT,” my #1 ranked film, over Nerds 1 and Barry Lyndon. He will be missed – was it “Jagged Edge” he received the Oscar nod?

  29. joyce messina says:

    Great actor we really enjoyed his performances.

  30. Dave andrews says:

    We shared the same birthday and i always liked most of his characters except for his role in “an officer and a gentelman”. But i know he wasn’t supposed to be liked. He was geres characters catalyst.

  31. Lenora says:

    Robert and Audrey were fan favorites at the Hollywood Show Autograph Convention a number
    of times. Signed lots of photos, posed with lots of fans, and enjoyed meeting everyone as much
    as they enjoyed meeting him. Thanks Audrey for visiting with us too! Our condolences.

  32. tony sanders says:

    Anyone else remember his tv series, T.H.E. Cat. Thomas Hewitt Edward Cat was his name and he was kind of a reformed cat burglar / detective who still walked high wires and stuff. Great stuff.

  33. Tom Dockery says:

    T.H.E.Cat has had his last meow.

    • frlawrence says:

      T.H.E. Cat was one of my favourite shows when I was young, and made a lasting impression on my young heart. I still catch myself humming the theme song sometimes. May the Lord grant rest to Robert in HIs Kingdom.

  34. BillUSA says:

    God bless your soul Mr. Loggia. You were one fine actor.

  35. Had the pleasure of meeting Bob at several golfing events in the so. cal. area, and as a very casual intro. he never forgot my name or where we met. The consummate gentleman and a great aquaintance. RIP

  36. Dan Henry says:

    R as in, Robert Loggia.
    O as in, oh my god, it’s Robert Loggia.
    B as in, by god, that’s Robert Loggia.
    E as in, everybody loves Robert Loggia.
    R as in Robert Loggia
    T as in, Tim, look over there, it’s Robert Loggia.
    L as in, Look it’s Robert Loggia.

  37. Bill Dascomb says:

    Rip ! Mr loggia u will b missed !.thank you 4 your services n military,acting an life!. God bless you and your family.

  38. Mike says:

    R.I.P. Thanks for so many fine performances and condolences to his family.

  39. Jay Patterson says:

    I was lucky enough to work with him once. We did a TV movie in Mexico in 1993. We shared many meals and had many conversations together. A wonderful actor and a fine man. Well done Robert Loggia. You will be missed.

  40. max says:

    He was also the star of the very cool ’60s TV series T.H.E. Cat (Thomas Hewitt Edward Cat) as former circus performer/ second story man / thief, and owner of the eponymously named restaurant El Gato. Fun show.

  41. Mjkbk says:

    I first SAW Mr. Loggia in that “series of Walt Disney TV shows” that apparently had no title, according to Variety.

    Would it have killed this writer to identify it as “The Nine Lives of Elfego Baca”?

  42. Palin Smith says:

    A favorite of mine from T.H.E. Cat

  43. Spider says:

    RIP. A fantastic actor and a class act. His performance in “Big”, especially the ‘Chopsticks’ scene with Tom Hanks was impeccable. I will always remember him for that. I extend my deepest condolences to his family. :(

  44. Chad says:

    Robert Loggia was in Independence Day, not Jack Warden.

  45. potvin99 says:

    “Omar was a stoolie because Sosa said so? You bought that line!” RIP Frank Lopez

  46. Valerie McNeal says:

    He is one of my favorite actors. Sad to hear of his passing. If he was in a movie I knew it would be worth watching and quality.

  47. Justin says:

    I can’t believe they mention OVER THE TOP before LOST HIGHWAY. Come on, Variety, jeez. Mr Eddy! The scene where he beats up the guy over tailgating is one of the all time greats! RIP.

  48. Deadpool says:

    I was just watching Big. RIP.

  49. Bill H says:

    He also started in “T.H.E. Cat” – a television series about a cat burglar. He would introduce himself at “T. Hewitt Edward Cat.” Eventually someone asked what the T was for, and he replied, “Tom.”

  50. Tony M and Elvira Forever says:

    scarface ’83 (i was there opening day and proudly).

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