Oscar-nominated very recognizable character actor Robert Loggia, died Friday in Los Angeles at the age of 85.
His wife, Aubrey Loggia, said he died at his home after a five-year battle with Alzheimer’s Disease.
“His poor body gave up,” his wife told media outlets. “He loved being an actor and he loved his life.”
Loggia, a veteran actor who first appeared on screen in the 1950s, is best known for his roles as a big wig toy executive in “Big” in which he danced alongside Tom Hanks on a giant piano inside FAO Schwarz.
He broke into the entertainment business in 1958 as lawman Elfego Baca in a series of Walt Disney TV shows in 1958. His TV credits included The Untouchables, Columbo,Gunsmoke, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, The Big Valley, Rawhide, Little House on the Prairie, Starsky and Hutch, Charlie’s Angels, Magnum, P.I., Kojak, Hawaii Five-0, The Bionic Woman, Frasier, and Monk.
His film roles include Revenge of the Pink Panther, Over The Top, NecessaryRoughness, Return to Me, and Armed and Dangerous.
He also played Tony Montana’s nemesis in the gangster drama “Scarface.”
In 1986, the New York native was nominated for a supporting actor Academy Award for “Jagged Edge.”
In that film he played investigator Sam Ransom, who looked into a murder involved Glenn Close and Jeff Bridges.
Loggia was also nominated for two Emmys, first in 1989 for his role of FBI agent Nick Mancuso in the series “Mancuso FBI” and then again in 2000 for his a guest role on “Malcolm in the Middle.”
The Sicilian-American actor won over fans when he appeared as Feech La Manna on Season Five of “The Sopranos.”
Loggia was born in 1930 in Staten Island.
He graduated from University of Missouri-Columbia with a degree in journalism in 1951 but took a liking to acting in his early twenties.
One of his first roles was a small part on “Search for Tomorrow” in 1951.
His family has asked that donations be made to the Motion Picture and Television Fund. Loggia was an active supporter of the fund.
Funeral services will be private.