Oscar nominee Joe Bologna dies at 82
Bologna was married to actress Renée Taylor for 52 years
Joe Bologna, an Oscar-nominee for screenwriting and character actor best known for My Favorite Year, Blame It on Rio, and numerous television appearances, died Sunday at age 82.
“He had a beautiful life and a beautiful death having fully and gratefully experienced three years since being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer at Cedars Sinai,” Bologna’s wife of 52 years, actress and writer Renée Taylor, said in a statement. “His team of doctors, who prolonged his life, were Dr. Roger Lerner and Dr. David Hoffman of Cedars Sinai, in Beverly Hills. For the last six months during the cancer’s most aggressive stage, Dr. Vincent Chung and Dr. Stefanie Mooney of City of Hope gave him back a wonderful quality of life by creating a personalized treatment and palliative care plan, so that he could receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Night of 100 Stars on February 26, of this year, take a month-long trip to his favorite place, Italy, with his family in June, and attend the 35th Anniversary celebration of My Favorite Year, on July 27th.”
Bologna was called a “beloved role model in the Italian-American community” in a statement released by his representatives. After serving in the U.S. Marine Corp, Bologna wrote Lovers and Other Strangers as a Broadway show with Taylor (Charles Grodin directed the stage version). His Oscar nomination came for the 1970 film based on the play. He also wrote the scripts for Made for Each Other (with Taylor) and the 1996 film Love Is All There Is (also with Taylor), which starred a young Angelina Jolie.
As an actor, Bologna appeared in My Favorite Year, with Peter O’Toole and Lainie Kazan; Blame It On Rio, with Michael Caine and Demi Moore; Woman in Red with Gene Wilder; and Big Daddy, with Adam Sandler. He was also famous for appearing as a costar on numerous “movie of the weeks” during that genres heyday.
According to a statement, “Bologna’s final work is a film he wrote and starred in, the soon to be released Tango Shalom. It is a family affair with his wife Renée Taylor and life-long friend Lainie Kazan costarring with him. His daughter Zizi Bologna was the Music Supervisor and his son, Gabriel directed it.”