Frank Campanella

Frank Campanella (March 12, 1919 – December 30, 2006) was an American actor. He appeared in numerous television series, as well as a few films and Broadway productions.

Frank Campanella
Frank Campanella in Mission Impossible 1968.jpg
Frank Campanella in Mission Impossible 1968
Born(1919-03-12)March 12, 1919
DiedDecember 30, 2006(2006-12-30) (aged 87)
EducationManhattan College
Years active1947–2006
RelativesJoseph Campanella (brother)

Early life and careerEdit

Campanella was born in New York City, the son of Philip and Mary O. Campanella, both born in Sicily.[1] The family lived in the Washington Heights section of upper Manhattan. He was the older brother of actor Joseph Campanella, and Philip Campanella (who became a union plumber) and spoke mostly Italian growing up; this proved useful during World War II, when he worked as a civilian translator for the U.S. government. Campanella graduated from Manhattan College in 1940,[2] where he studied drama.[3]

Campanella's first film role was as Mook, the Moon-Man in the 1949 science-fiction series Captain Video and His Video Rangers[4] and went on to appear in more than 100 film and television episodes, usually playing the "tough guy". Campanella appeared as a bartender in Mel Brooks' The Producers (1967), starring Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder, and his many film credits included roles in What's So Bad About Feeling Good? (1968); The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight (1971); The Stone Killer (1973); Capone (1975, as Big Jim Colosimo); Chesty Anderson, USN (1976); Heaven Can Wait (1978); The North Avenue Irregulars (1979); High Noon, Part II: The Return of Will Kane (1980); Death Wish II (1982); Young Doctors in Love (1982); The Flamingo Kid (1984); Nothing in Common (1986); Overboard (1987); Beaches (1988); Blood Red (1989); Pretty Woman (1990) and Dick Tracy (1990). He helped Robert De Niro learn Sicilian for his role as young Vito Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather: Part II (1974).

Campanella's early television roles included three appearances as different police lieutenants on the syndicated crime drama, Decoy, starring Beverly Garland as the first female police lead in a television series. In one of the Decoy episodes, he appeared with his brother Joseph. Over his career, he appeared, often in police roles, in such well-known series as Ironside; Mannix; The Rockford Files; Quincy, M.E.; Chico and the Man; All in the Family; Mission: Impossible; Maude; Rhoda; and The Love Boat. In 1969, Campanella appeared as Sheriff Quartermine on the TV Series The Virginian in the episode titled "Journey to Scathelock".

Campanella's Broadway credits include Guys and Dolls (1965), Nobody Loves an Albatross (1963), Nowhere to Go But Up (1962), The Deadly Game (1960), Sixth Finger in a Five Finger Glove (1956), Remains to Be Seen (1951), Stalag 17 (1951), Volpone (1948), and Galileo (1947).[5]


Campanella died on December 30, 2006, at his home in Los Angeles.[3] He was 87.[6]

Selected filmographyEdit


  1. ^ "Joseph Campanella Biography (1927–)". Retrieved April 21, 2015.
  2. ^ "Sunday 07 January 2007". Retrieved April 21, 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Frank Campanella, Character Actor, 87, Dies". The New York Times. Associated Press. January 6, 2007. Retrieved August 7, 2017.
  4. ^ "Frank Campanella". Rome News-Tribune. January 5, 2007. p. 6A. Retrieved September 28, 2014.
  5. ^ "Frank Campanella". Internet Broadway Database. The Broadway League. Archived from the original on May 28, 2018. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  6. ^ Lentz, Harris M. III (2007). Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 2006: Film, Television, Radio, Theatre, Dance, Music, Cartoons and Pop Culture. McFarland. ISBN 9780786452118. Retrieved May 28, 2018.

External linksEdit