Rumors of his demise flooded the media on two different occasions in the 1980s. But actor Abe Vigoda, who is remembered for playing over-the-hill detective Phil Fish on ABC 1970s sitcom “Barney Miller” and spin-off “Fish” has officially passed away. Vigoda died Tuesday morning in his sleep at his daughter Carol Vigoda Fuch’s home in Woodland Park, New Jersey.
Born on Feb. 24, 1921 in Brooklyn, New York, Vigoda gained early notoriety in the 1960s on Broadway, including productions of “Marat/Sade,” “The Man in the Glass Booth” and “Tough to Get Help.” Prior to “Barney Miller,” Vigoda was known for playing elderly mobster Salvatore Tessio in 1972 theatrical “The Godfather.” He also appeared briefly in “The Godfather Part II” in a flashback sequence at the end of the film.
Guest appearances over the course of Vigoda’s career included TV series “Dark Shadows,” “Mannix,” “The Rookies,” the original “Hawaii Five-O,” “The Rockford Files,” “Eight is Enough,” “Santa Barbara” and “Wings.” His film roles included “Cannonball Run II,” ”Look Who’s Talking,” ”Joe Versus the Volcano” and “North.”
Vigoda was married twice, most recently to Beatrice Schy, who died in 1992. He had his daughter with his first wife, Sonja Gohlke, who has also passed away. Vigoda is survived by his daughter, grandchildren Jamie, Paul and Steven, and a great-grandson.