'My Favorite Year' Actor Joe Bologna Dead At 82

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Actor, writer and director Joseph Bologna, best known for his performance in the comedy classic "My Favorite Year," as well as roles in shows like "CSI" and "Married With Children," has died at the age of 82.

Bologna died in Duarte, California, on the morning of Aug. 13 following a three-year struggle with pancreatic cancer. Two days before his death, Bologna and his wife -- fellow actress, playwright and screenwriter Renee Taylor -- celebrated their 52nd wedding anniversary.

Bologna and Taylor wrote and acted in over 20 plays together, including "Lovers and Other Strangers," "It Had to Be You," "If You Ever Leave Me I'm Going With You!" and "Bermuda Avenue Triangle," according to The Hollywood Reporter.

In 1970, "Lovers and Other Strangers" was made into a film starring Gig Young and Bea Arthur. Bologna and Taylor co-wrote the screenplay with David Zelag Goodman, receiving an Oscar nomination for their work.

The couple also wrote and starred in 1971's "Made For Each Other," for which they won a Writers Guild Award.

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And they won an Emmy Award for their writing of the 1973 Marlo Thomas TV special "Acts of Love and Other Comedies."

Due to his appearance, Bologna was routinely cast in tough-guy roles. He played mobster Joe Bonanno in the TV movie "Honor Thy Father" and a crooked police officer in 1973's "Cops and Robbers," according to The New York Times.

But Bologna's most successful role came in 1982's "My Favorite Year," a comedy produced by Mel Brooks. Bologna played the egomaniacal King Kaiser, a sendup of comic actor Sid Caesar.

"I love Sid," Bologna said when the film came out, according to The Hollywood Reporter. "He was a pro and he did his thing. But he was, like, nuts."

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Weeks before his death, Bologna attended a 35th anniversary screening of "My Favorite Year" in Los Angeles.

His other film credits include performances in "Woman of the Year" (1976), "Blame It on Rio" (1984), "The Woman in Red" (1984), "It Had to Be You" (1989) and "Big Daddy" (1999).

Bologna grew up in a working class Italian-American family in Brooklyn, New York. He graduated from Brown University with a degree in art history. Later he served in the Marine Corps and worked in advertising, during which time he directed a number of commercials.

He met Taylor through their mutual manager, Buddy Allen. Taylor was working as a standup comedian at the time. Their wedding ceremony took place on the "Merv Griffin Show." They would go on to renew their vows five times.

Bologna is survived by Taylor and their son, actor and director Gabriel Bologna.

Sources: The Hollywood Reporter, The New York Times / Featured Image: CBS Television via Wikimedia Commons / Embedded Images: Everett Collection via The New York Times, baxter/abacausa.com via Wikimedia Commons

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