Joseph Bologna, an actor, writer and director known for his role in films like “My Favorite Year,” “Blame it on Rio” and “Big Daddy” and for his long collaboration on stage and screen with wife Renée Taylor, died on Sunday morning at City of Hope Hospital in Duarte, California after a three-year battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 82.
Born December 30, 1934 in Brooklyn, New York, Bologna’s breakthrough film, “Lovers and Other Strangers,” written with Renée Taylor in 1970, was based on the true-life circumstances of organizing a wedding on short notice with the involvement of his Italian extended family and Taylor’s Jewish clan. One year later, in 1971, the couple again collaborated to write and perform in the movie “Made for Each Other,” which resulted in an Oscar nomination for adapted screenplay.
Together, Bologna and Taylor penned 22 plays and won an Emmy Award for writing “Acts of Love and Other Comedies.” On television, Bologna headlined musical NBC drama “Rags to Riches” from 1987 to 1988, and “Married with Children” spin-off “Top of the Heap” in 1991. He also made guest appearances in series like “Murder, She Wrote,” “L.A. Law,” “Caroline in the City,” “CSI” and “The Nanny,” the latter opposite Renee Taylor.
Bologna’s final work is a film he wrote and starred in, the soon to be released “Tango Shalom.” Taylor and their lifelong friend Lainie Kazan co-star.
This year, Bologna received the Night of 100 Stars Oscar Gala Lifetime Achievement Award from actor comedian Richard Lewis and his peers to celebrate his 60 year career and for his efforts to help save The Motion Picture Home Hospital in 2012.
Bologna is survived by his wife and son.