Over the years, people have often joked about whether or not veteran actor Abe Vigoda is deceased or still alive. In 1982, Vigoda was even cited as dead in an issue of People Magazine. A reporter at WWOR, Channel 9 made the same mistake five years later. We’re sad to report that on January 26, 2016, Vigoda really did die at his daughter’s home in New Jersey. He was 94.
Most of the roles in Vigoda’s later years revolved around his old age. Millennials would probably recognize him best as the old man from Good Burger or the unfortunate grandpa from North. He also provided the voice of an aging gangster in Batman: Mask of the Phantasm. On top of that, he made several hilarious appearances on talk shows like Late Night with Conan O’Brien and Late Night with David Letterman. Oh, and how could we forget this classic Super Bowl commercial with Betty White?
Aside from those more recent roles, Vigoda had an impressive acting career in film, stage, and television that spanned several decades. On the small screen, he was best known for his performance as Detective Sgt. Phil Fish in Barney Miller. His character would get his own spin-off in Fish, although that show only lasted two seasons. As for his big screen appearances, Vigoda had a key role in a little movie you might’ve heard of called The Godfather.
With a naturally sad face, Vigoda rarely looked happy in any of his screen performances. Seeing him pop up always put a smile on our faces, though. He’ll be deeply missed.