Vincent Gardenia

Vincent Gardenia

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Vincent Gardenia

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Vincent Gardenia (January 7, 1920 – December 9, 1992) was an Italian American stage, film, and television actor.

Early life

Gardenia was born Vincenzo Scognamiglio in Naples, Italy, the son of Elisa and Gennaro Gardenia Scognamiglio. After emigrating to the United States at the age of 2, he lived most of his life in Brooklyn, New York. As a child, he performed in a family acting troupe in Italian-American neighborhoods in and around New York City.


Gardenia began acting in the theater at age 28, and his off Broadway debut was in The Man with the Golden Arm in 1956. He described his role in the film Little Murders as a "turning point". He won Obie Awards in 1960 and 1969.

In 1972, he won a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play for his performance in The Prisoner of Second Avenue and in 1979 he was nominated for Best Actor in a Musical for his performance in Ballroom. In film, he was twice nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performances in Bang the Drum Slowly and Moonstruck.

In television, Gardenia won the 1990 Emmy Award for his performance in Age-Old Friends, with Hume Cronyn. Among his best remembered TV roles is his portrayal of Frank Lorenzo, Archie Bunker's neighbor on All in the Family (1973–74) and as J. Edgar Hoover in the...
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