Character actor Felice Orlandi, husband for 52 years of actress Alice Ghostley, died Wednesday May 21 of lung cancer at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center Burbank. The Studio City, Calif., resident was 78.
Italian native was raised in Cleveland and got a degree in theater arts from Carnegie Tech (now Carnegie Mellon), then moved to New York , where he began his theater career at the Circle in the Square under co-founder Jose Quintero. He made his Broadway debut in “The Girl on the Via Flaminia,” directed by Quintero.
The following year he starred in Tennessee Williams’ “27 Wagons Full of Cotton” opposite Maureen Stapleton. It was one of three one-acts presented together, another being Leonard Bernstein’s “Trouble in Tahiti,” starring Ghostley.
After marrying in New Haven, Conn., where “Trouble in Tahiti” was in tryouts, the couple moved to Hollywood, where Orlandi made his feature film debut in Stanley Kubrick’s “Killer’s Kiss” (1955). The following year he appeared in Humphrey Bogart starrer “The Harder They Fall,” and over the next four decades he appeared in about 20 films including “Never Love a Stranger,” “Bullitt,” “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They,” “Another 48 Hrs.” and “Catch-22.”
Numerous TV credits include telepics “Honor Thy Father” and “The Neon Empire” as well as such staples like “Hogan’s Heroes,” “Hill Street Blues,” many Westerns, “The Naked City,” “Mannix,” “Hawaii Five-O” and the list goes on.
WWII veteran was also known for his friendship to many thesps starting out and for his talents as a chef. He was a longtime member of AMPAS, Actors’ Equity, SAG and WGAW.
Donations can be made to Actors and Others for Animals, 11523 Burbank Blvd., North Hollywood, CA 91601.