Val Bisoglio, the longtime character actor familiar to many for his work on the TV series Quincy, M.E. and as the father of John Travolta's Tony Manero in Saturday Night Fever, died October 18. He was 95.
Bisoglio died at his home near Los Olivos, California. His death was confirmed by Variety.
He was born Italo Valentino Bisoglio on May 7, 1926, in NYC to Italian immigrant parents. His acting career began over 70 years ago on the New York stage.
Bisoglio made his TV debut in 1963 on an episode of The DuPont Show of the Week. He made his film debut the same year, playing a gangster in Shirley Clarke's The Cool World, often cited as the first Blaxploitation movie, and one that has been preserved in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress.
After numerous TV guest spots, including on classics like Bonanza (1968) and Mayberry R.F.D. (1968), Bisoglio played Louis Grant on 37 episodes of the popular soap The Doctors (1969).
He was everyone on TV in the '70s, appearing on Love, American Style (1971), Mary Tyler Moore (1971), Mannix (1971), The Partridge Family (1971), All in the Family (1972), as a regular on the short-lived series Roll Out (1973-1974), Kolchak: The Night Stalker (1974), Police Woman (1974-1975), Get Christie Love! (1975), McMillan & Wife (1975) and Barney Miller (1975-1975), among many others, before landing his most famous TV part, as sweet-natured restaurateur Danny Tovo on Quincy, M.E. (1976-1983).
During the run of Quincy, he played what would become his most widely viewed role, as the father of Tony Manero in the blockbuster hit film Saturday Night Fever (1977), one of the defining films of the '70s.
Among the other feature films to his credit were No Way to Treat a Lady (1968), with Rod Steiger, Lee Remick and George Segal; The Brotherhood (1968), with Kirk Douglas, Alex Cord and Irene Papas; the star-studded 1975 disaster flick The Hindenburg for director Robert Wise; the novelty flick Linda Lovelace for President (1975) opposite the notorious porn star; Robert Aldrich's 1979 comic western The Frisco Kid, with Gene Wilder and Harrison Ford; and the 1999 heist comedy Diamonds, with Douglas, Lauren Bacall and Dan Aykroyd.
Post-Quincy, Bisoglio continued working, mostly on TV, memorably on three episodes of M*A*S*H (1981-1982), giving his final performance in any medium on three episodes of The Sopranos (2002) as Murf.
Bisoglio is survived by his wife Bonnie and his three sons.