Robert Loggia, Oscar-Nominated Actor Known for ‘Scarface’ and ‘Big’, Dies at 85

5 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Scarface’ and ‘Sopranos’ actor Robert Loggia dies at 85.

Robert Loggia, the gravelly-voiced character actor who danced with Tom Hanks on a giant floor keyboard in Big, fought aliens in Independence Day and trafficked drugs in Scarface, has died at age 85.

Robert Loggia, an Academy Award-nominated actor who embodied both swagger and mischievous charm, notably as a too-trusting Miami crime boss in “Scarface,” died Friday at his home in Los Angeles from Alzheimer’s disease. Loggia had been a journeyman actor on stage, TV and films until he made an impression playing Richard Gere’s abusive and alcoholic father in the 1982 blockbuster, An Officer and a Gentleman. Loggia, who could be both sly and sweet, carried an everyman’s understanding and a con-man’s cleverness to roles ranging from the owner of a toy company opposite Tom Hanks in “Big” to his Oscar-nominated turn as sordid private detective Sam Ransom in “Jagged Edge,” written by Joe Eszterhas and starring Glenn Close and Jeff Bridges.

His wife, Audrey Loggia, said the cause was complications of Alzheimer’s disease. “He struggled with Alzheimer’s disease for five years,” she said. “It just took its natural progression.” Mr. In director Brian De Palma’s hit 1983 crime drama Scarface, Loggia played drug lord Frank Lopez alongside Al Pacino in the violent tale of Miami mobsters.

His most famous role was in director Penny Marshall’s bittersweet comedy Big, released in 1988 starring Tom Hanks as a boy whose wish to become an adult magically comes true. Together they danced to the songs Heart and Soul and Chopsticks on the jumbo floor keyboard at New York’s fabled FAO Schwarz toy store, in what was one of the famous cinematic scenes of the 1980s.

Loggia as saying in 1990. “So I never wear out my welcome.” Among his most noteworthy credits was “Scarface,” in which he played Frank Lopez, a Florida gangster who befriends and is then betrayed by a rising Cuban-born mobster played by Al Pacino, who kills him and marries his mistress, played by Michelle Pfeiffer. Loggia said Marshall allowed him and Hanks a lot of freedom in deciding how the scene would unfold, giving them a cardboard mock-up of the keyboard a few weeks before the scene was shot. “She very cleverly said, ‘I don’t want you to look like trained dancers, but you do the melody and you … and Tom, you work it out for yourself,” Loggia told the Miami Herald in 2006. Full-figured view.” Loggia later starred in a number of TV series, including “Mancuso, FBI” and “Sunday Dinner,” but his forte was generally supporting roles in both TV and film productions.

He played a general who advises the president of the United States, played by Bill Pullman, as tentacled aliens in huge spaceships devastate cities worldwide. His other roles include a newspaper editor in 1994’s “I Love Trouble,” a general in 1996’s “Independence Day,” throwback gangster “Feech” La Manna in several episodes of “The Sopranos,” and Malcolm’s grandfather in “Malcolm in the Middle.” “When you read a script, you don’t want to be the same guy all the time, you want to change, you’re a different person,” he told the A.V. He once summed up his talent as: “I’m a character actor in that I play many different roles, and I’m virtually unrecognizable from one role to another.

He made his film debut in 1956 in “Somebody Up There Likes Me,” playing a mobster who tries to persuade the boxer Rocky Graziano (Paul Newman) to throw a fight. As a student at the University of Missouri, he studied journalism, but that passion faded when he returned to New York and enrolled at the Actors Studio. He was nominated for an Emmy in 2000 for a guest appearance on “Malcolm in the Middle.” On the New York stage, in a 1956 Off Broadway production of “The Man With the Golden Arm,” Mr. Loggia made his Broadway debut in a 1960 production of Lillian Hellman’s “Toys in the Attic,” filling a role that had previously been played by Jason Robards Jr.

His theater background served him well when he broke into television in the late 1950s, appearing on “Studio One,” “Playhouse 90” and other live dramatic anthology series. Besides his wife, the former Audrey O’Brien, he is survived by three children: Tracy, John and Kristina, from a previous marriage, to Della Marjorie Sloan, and six grandchildren.

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