Wednesday, September 24, 2008

He's not dead, Jim

As if it isn't difficult enough to be an older actor in Hollywood...

Abe Vigoda found out he was dead in 1982. He was doing a play in Calgary, Alberta, while a People magazine writer visited the "Barney Miller" wrap party in Los Angeles, California.

"The Godfather" was Abe Vigoda's first film -- and more than 35 years later, he's still around to enjoy it.

"Somehow it mentioned in the article that 'the late Abe Vigoda' was not [there]," Vigoda recalls.

The error was corrected, but the damage had been done. Vigoda's "Barney Miller" character -- the decrepit, downcast Det. Phil Fish -- didn't help the image. Never mind that the real Vigoda was a vigorous man just turning 60 at the time; the question of whether he's shuffled off this mortal coil has followed him around ever since. There's even a Web site devoted to his life-or-death status.

Talk about a bit of a career hurdle.

That's a big one!

Thankfully, Abe's still alive and, if you want to keep informed, you can visit this Web site daily to confirm that.

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