Actor Joe Bologna, famous for his roles in the comedy films My Favorite Year and Transylvania 6-5000, died Sunday, August 13 in Duarte at age 82 of pancreatic cancer.
Bologna was born in Brooklyn, New York and attended Brown University, where he majored in art history. After college, he served a tour of duty with the Marine Corps.
Bologna was hired to produce and direct Manhattan-based TV commercials and later enjoyed a long run in film and television. His breakthrough film, Lovers and Other Strangers, written with his wife Renee Taylor, was based on the true-life circumstances of organizing a wedding on short notice with the involvement of his Italian extended family and Renee’s Jewish clan. Several relatives performed as extras in the final cut. The film went on to win an Academy Award for the song “For All We Know.”
Edward Lozzi, Bologna’s longtime publicist, issued this statement: “As Joe Bologna and Renee Taylor’s publicist and friend for over 25 years, I treat them like family. Joe was a really witty and funny Oscar nominated writer, Emmy winner and a mentor to me. His advice and commentary were priceless. Every five years Joe and Renee got married in a full Jewish wedding ceremony, the first being on The Merv Griffin Show. Joe was a true East Coast Italian American, who had the talent to costar with A-stars like Peter O’Toole, Michael Caine, Raf Vallone, Demi Moore, Angelina Jolie and others. The brilliant award-winning stage and screen writing team of Joe and Renee is over. But Renee will carry on with his brilliance including her one-woman stage show My Life on a Diet, playing on stages nationally and her upcoming one-woman show Wild Wild Mae West, portraying Mae West. Both of these productions have Joe Bologna’s signature on them. In 2017, Joe received the Night of 100 Stars Oscar Gala’s Lifetime Achievement Award from Richard Lewis and his peers for his work in motion pictures and his successful efforts to help save the Motion Picture Home’s Hospital. I will always feel privileged to be part of that night only a few months ago.”