Victor Tayback (January 6, 1930 – May 25, 1990) was an American actor. He is best known for his role as diner owner Mel Sharples in the comedy-drama film Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974) and the television sitcom Alice (1976–1985), for which he won two consecutive Golden Globes.

Vic Tayback
Vic Tayback 1976.JPG
Tayback in 1976
Victor Tayback

(1930-01-06)January 6, 1930
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
DiedMay 25, 1990(1990-05-25) (aged 60)
Resting placeForest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills)
Years active1958–1990
Sheila Maureen Barnard Tayback
(m. 1962; his death 1990)
Children1 son

Life and careerEdit

Tayback was born in Brooklyn, New York City, New York, the son of Helen (née Hanood) and Najeeb James Tayback.[1] His parents were immigrants from Aleppo, Syria.[2] Tayback moved with his family to Burbank, California, during his teenage years and attended Burbank High School. He ended up living in the area for the rest of his life, eventually moving to nearby Glendale, California, where he resided until his death.

A lifetime member of the Actors Studio,[3] Tayback was a familiar face on television in the 1960s and 1970s, appearing on numerous series as a character actor. Two notable appearances were in the "Et tu, Archie?" fourth-season episode of All in the Family as Archie's old friend, Joe Tucker, and as the 1920s-style gangster-boss Jojo Krako in the Star Trek episode "A Piece of the Action".

Tayback's most famous role was diner owner Mel Sharples in both the film Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974) and the television series Alice (1976–1985). Although Alfred Lutter reprised his role as Alice's son Tommy in the pilot episode of the television series (he was replaced by Philip McKeon when the series began), Vic Tayback was the only actor in the original film to reprise his role for the rest of the series.[4] Tayback received one Primetime Emmy Award nomination in 1978 and three Golden Globe Award nominations (winning two) from 1980 to 1982 for the role.



  • Alice as Mel Sharples
  • Griff as Captain Barney Marcus. Series starred Lorne Greene in title role and Ben Murphy
  • Khan! as Lt. Gubbins
  • Buckskin (Episode: "The Battle of Gabe Pruitt") – Claude
  • Alfred Hitchcock Presents (Episode: "A Man with a Problem") (1958) – Man Talking to Cabdriver
  • 77 Sunset Strip (1960) (Episode: Trouble in the Middle East) Bearded Rebel
  • Rawhide (Episode: "The Gray Rock Hotel") (1965) – Monte
  • F Troop (Episode: "Corporal Agarn's Farewell To The Troops") (1965) – Bill Colton
  • The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (Episode: "The Re-Collectors Affair") (1965) – Sargent
  • Daniel Boone (Episode: "Onatha") (1966) – Hongas
  • Family Affair (Episode: 8 Season 1 "Who's Afraid of Nural Shpeni?") (1966) - Policeman
  • Get Smart (Episode: "Appointment in Sahara") (1967) – Jamal
  • The Monkees (Episodes: "Your Friendly Neighborhood Kidnappers", "Son of a Gypsy" and "Art for Monkees' Sake") (1966–1967) – Chuche / Rocco / George
  • Star Trek: The Original Series (Episode: "A Piece of the Action") (1968) – Jojo Krako
  • The Bill Cosby Show (Episode: "The Fatal Phone Call") (1969) - Calvin
  • Bonanza (Episode 358 "Caution, Easter Bunny Crossing". Season 11 Episode 25) (1970) - Everett Gaskell
  • The Partridge Family (Episode: Danny & The Mob) 1971
  • The Mary Tyler Moore Show (Episode: "Second Story Story") (1971) – Officer Jackson
  • Bewitched (Episode: "The Good Fairy Strikes Again") (1971) – Officer #1
  • Columbo (Episode: "Suitable for Framing") (1971) – Sam Franklin
  • Arnie (Episode: "Boom or Bust") (1972) – Sergeant
  • The Bold Ones: The New Doctors (Episode: "Is This Operation Necessary?" (1972) – Frank Wells
  • Emergency! (Episode: "Boot") (1973) – truck driver.
  • All in the Family (Episode: "Et Tu, Archie?") (1974) – Joe Tucker
  • Barney Miller (Episode: "Stakeout") (1975) – Mr. Savocheck
  • The Practice (Episode: "The Choice") (1976) – Frankie Nyles
  • Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman (Episode: 29, Season: 1) (1976)
  • Hawaii Five-O (Episode: "Bones of Contention" ; "Angel in Blue") (1975–1978) – Martin Lynch / Parmel
  • The Eddie Capra Mysteries (Episode: "How Do I Kill Thee?") (1978) – Logan
  • The Love Boat (Episode: "Friends & Lovers; Sergeant Bull; Miss Mother") (1980) – Sgt. Harry Beluski
  • Flo (Episode: "What Are Friends For?") (1981) – Mel Sharples
  • Fantasy Island (1979–1983, Multiple) – George Walters / Norman Atkins / Chet Nolan / Melvyn Mews
  • T. J. Hooker (Episode: "Hooker's War") (1982) – Lt. Pete Benedict
  • Hotel (Episode: "Relative Loss") (1983) – Wallace Egan
  • Finder of Lost Loves (Episode: "Maxwell Ltd: Finder of Lost Loves Pilot") (1984) – Thomas Velasco
  • Murder, She Wrote (Episode: "One Good Bid Deserves a Murder") (1986) – Sal Domino
  • Crazy Like a Fox (1986)
  • The Love Boat (1977–1987, Multiple) – Himself / Jack Hamilton / Shelley Sommers / 'Dutch' Boden / Sgt. Harry Beluski / Harry Stewart
  • Adderly (1987) – Gregorin
  • Tales from the Darkside (Episodes: "The New Man", (as Alan Coombs) Season 1, 1984, and "Basher Malone" (as Tippy Ryan) Season 4, 1988)
  • MacGyver (1990, Episode: "Jenny's Chance") – George Henderson (final television appearance)


  • Alice (Ep: "Alice Faces the Music")


Tayback died of a heart attack in 1990 and was interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles. Tayback was survived by his wife Sheila, whom he married in 1962. They had one son, Christopher Tayback, who briefly acted before attending law school.


  1. ^ "Vic Tayback Biography (1930–1990)". Retrieved 2011-05-06.
  2. ^ "TV'S 'MEL' DIES OF HEART ATTACK". Greensboro News and Record. 25 May 1990. Retrieved 24 August 2019.
  3. ^ Garfield, David (1980). "Appendix: Life Members of The Actors Studio as of January 1980". A Player's Place: The Story of The Actors Studio. New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc. p. 280. ISBN 0-02-542650-8.
  4. ^ Film co-star Diane Ladd joined Alice mid-series playing a different character, and Alfred Lutter reprised his film role as Tommy for the pilot episode only .

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