Friday, January 13, 2017

Tony Rosato

I didn't think LA Guy would be posting on this so I wanted to note that Tony Rosato died this week.  He was one of only three regular cast members who were on both SCTV and Saturday Night Live (the other two were Martin Short and Robyn Duke). He was on in the early 1980s.  I vaguely remember him as referred to as the "next John Belushi" at the time and I recall he did a good Lou Grant impression. I was in early college years then, so I largely remember him on in the Dorm TV Lounge right before I went out on Saturday nights. (Time was different in those younger days)

 An Italian-Canadian talent, apparently he had a hard time later in his life with mental illness and a stint in jail (maybe wrongfully due to his mental illness according to his lawyer) but his Imdb page shows a long list of work over the years in films and TV and cartoon voice work- admittedly most of which I have never heard of.   Looking over his body of work, I see he seems to have been mainly typecast- most of his characters seem to be named  "Tony,"  "Detective DeVito,"   "Mario" and "Luigi" (those were from a Super Mario Brothers cartoon) but one role stood out in particular from all the others- "Charles Colson (Special Counsel to the President)"

This was very intriguing to me  and it is not a comedy sketch- it is from what seems to have been a well-regarded Canadian TV movie from 1995- Kissinger and Nixon based upon Walter Isaacson's writing.   It had several award nominations and even won an Emmy (for makeup).   It featured Ron Silver ( I remember him as Alan Dershowitz in Reversal of Fortune)  and Beau Bridges as Nixon.   Then the casting seems to get really weird.   Matt Frewer (Max Headroom) as "General Alexander Haig (Dep. Asst. to the President for National Security Affairs)" and George Takei (!) as Le Duc Tho.  

I am really sorry I missed this one.  I don't know anything this movie and all the online comments seem to be about the underlying politics and historical events. The only copies available seem to be used VHS cassettes.  

Anyway RIP Tony and I am sorry I missed your delivery (presumably) of Chuck Colson's "Hearts and Minds" line


Blogger LAGuy said...

I saw that he died (and you're right, I wasn't going to post about it). I was a bit surprised since he wasn't that old.

I certainly remember him, especially for his work on SCTV. But on that and SNL, he was never a star, more a utility player.

Whenever I think of such people, I always think of someone who made it out of the bush leagues to be a benchwarmer in the big leagues. All his life he's been one of the best in his field, but doesn't quite make it all the way to the top.

Still, he did some fine work, and just to be part of something great is worthwhile.

12:03 PM, January 13, 2017  

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