Tony Rosato, ‘Saturday Night Live’ Alum, Dies at 62

Tony Rosato dead SNL
Screenshot courtesy of Hulu

Actor Tony Rosato, an alum of the sketch comedy series “Saturday Night Live” and “SCTV,” died on Tuesday night at his home in Toronto. He was 62.

The comedian died of a suspected heart attack, though an autopsy has not been performed yet, his agent Ryan Goldhar told Variety.

Rosato was born in Naples, Italy, in 1954. He joined the Canadian sketch comedy show “SCTV” (“Second City Television”) in the late 1970s, playing, among other characters, drunk TV chef Marcello Sebastiani. The Toronto-based sketch show was created by Second City troupe members.

Rosato went on to join the cast of “SNL” in 1981, a year after producer Lorne Michaels took a break from the NBC show. Rosato was the first cast member born outside of the U.S. and one of only three “SCTV” alumni to appear on “SNL,” along with Robin Duke and Martin Short. His tenure on the show lasted only one year (Season 6).

In the 1990s, he worked as a voice actor, playing the part of Luigi in a variety of Super Mario-related programs, in addition to other video games and animated series.

His other TV credits include “Night Heat,” “L.A. Law,” and “Lonesome Dove.”

In 2005, Rosato was arrested and charged with criminal harassment of his wife. He believed his wife and daughter to be impostors and was diagnosed with Capgras delusion. He spent some time in a mental hospital before being released in 2009.

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  1. Shawna waldron says:

    dan Ackroyd, was born in Canada. He was first.

  2. Chris Darling says:

    I had the privilege of knowing Tony Rosato very early in his career, when we were working in one of the touring companies of “Second City” in Canada. Tony was hilarious onstage, a ferocious presence with a bellowing voice who could turn on a dime and play a lion with a wounded paw. We were thrilled when he made it to Saturday Night Live but there was one problem. I went to one of his first shows and everyone there was talking about the new breakout star. Eddie Murphy. That was a tough act to follow. Regardless of that, I would Tony’s last mention in Variety to include the fact that, following treatment for his medical condition, he resumed his career in Canada. He was a talented actor all his life and he was still a working one when he left us.

  3. Lex says:

    Wow, that is sad. His SCTV stuff was better than his SNL stuff. SNL was at a low point. He actually impersonated John Belushi on SCTV, once. He did his cartwheel.

  4. Michael Robinson says:

    Dan Aykroyd was on starting in Season 1 on SNL and was born in Ottawa. Rosario was not the first SNL performer born outside the US.

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