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Anthony Franciosa ACTOR


Anthony Franciosa was an American actor, commonly known as Tony Franciosa, who occupied a spot in Hollywood during its Golden Age. While his potential was regarded as high by those around him in his early debut of talent, he never fully lived up to his grandeur expectations because of his red hot temper and inability to handle so much fame. The actor was born October 25, 1928 in New York City as Anthony George Papaleo to Italian-American parents. His parents divorced when he was a year old, and he subsequently resided with just his mother and aunt. Upon graduation of high school, he visited a local YMCA to attend a dancing class. While there, he came across a posting for a play audition, and decided to give it a go. He adopted his mother’s maiden name (Franciosa) as his stage name, and began appearing in a number of theater productions.

He went professional, eventually reaching Broadway after having performed in over thirty shows. While in New York, he attended classes at the Actors Studio, and in 1955 was finally noticed for one of the workshop’s productions, a drug-addiction play called “A Hatful of Rain”. It was so successful that it moved to Broadway, and earned Franciosa an Outer Critics Circle Award and a Tony Award nod.  Hollywood also detected the young star, and beckoned for him to appear in his first motion picture, “This Could Be the Night” (1957), in which he starred as a nightclub owner. “A Face in the Crowd” (1957) came next, about a homeless man who becomes an overnight sensation. He reprised his role of Polo Pope, the brother of a heroin addict, in the film version of “A Hatful of Rain” (1957), and did so well that he was nominated as Best Actor for an Academy Award.

The actor followed up his superb acting job with a bunch of A-list features, including George Cukor’s “Wild is the Wind” (1957), Martin Ritt’s “The Long, Hot Summer” (1958), the Henry Koster drama “The Naked Maja” (1958), and Joseph Anthony’s “Career” (1959). He also worked with a lot of big names, like Rita Hayworth in the courtroom drama “Story On Page One” (1960), Jane Fonda in the comedy “Period of Adjustment” (1962), Richard Boone and Stuart Whitman in the popular westerner “Rio Conchos” (1964), and Ann-Margaret and Carol Lynley in the musical romance “The Pleasure Seekers” (1964).

Around this time he also began making regular television appearances on various shows such as “The Dick Powell Theatre” (1963), “The Greatest Show on Earth” (1963), “Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre” (1964), and others. From 1964-1965 he had his first reoccurring part as Valentine Farrow in the sitcom “Valentine’s Day”. After appearing in a few movies, “A Man Could Get Killed” (1966), “Assault on a Queen” (1966) also starring Frank Sinatra, and “The Swinger” (1966), the actor starred in a TV film called “Fame Is the Name of the Game” (1966). It was later picked up as a show, “The Name of the Game” (1968), but Franciosa was fired only two seasons in because of his temper, which he later contributed to his immaturity and incapability of handling his new stardom. Looking back at his career in a 1996 interview, he stated “It was an incredible amount of attention, and I wasn’t quite mature enough psychologically and emotionally for it.”
The actor continued to perform in various series, as well as a great number of films, after NBC released him from the show. He made appearances on a fair amount of television programs, as well as starred in the Aaron Spelling produced drama series, “Finder of Lost Loves” (1984-85). Such movies he acted in during later years include the horror “Tenebre” (1982), thriller “Fashion Crimes” (1989), drama “Backstreet Dreams” (1990) with Brooke Shields, Spanish “El caçador furtiu” (1995), and his final picture, the drama “City Hall” (1996), which boasted actors John Cusack and Al Pacino. His last onscreen appearance was on an episode of the drama series “Della Ventura” (1997).

Days after suffering a massive stroke, on January 19, 2006, Franciosa died at the UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, California.
1997       Dellaventura
1996       City Hall 
1995       El caçador furtiu 
1993       Double Threat 
1990       Backstreet Dreams 
1989       Ghost Writer 
1989       The Twilight Zone
1989       Fashion Crimes 
1988       Alfred Hitchcock Presents 
1988       Jake and the Fatman 
1987       Blood Vows: The Story of a Mafia Wife
1987       Death House 
1986       The Love Boat
1986       Hotel 
1986       Stagecoach 
1984       Finder of Lost Loves 
1984       Masquerade 
1983       Julie Darling 
1982       Tenebre 
1982       Death Wish II 
1982       Kiss My Grits 
1981       Side Show 
1981       Tales of the Unexpected 
1981       Aiutami a sognare 
1980       La cicala 
1979       The World Is Full of Married Men 
1979       Firepower 
1978       Wheels 
1977       Aspen 
1977       Curse of the Black Widow 
1975       Matt Helm 
1975       The Drowning Pool 
1974       This Is the West That Was 
1973       Ghost in the Noonday Sun 
1972       Search  
1972       Across 110th Street 
1972       The Catcher
1971       Earth II 
1971       The Deadly Hunt 
1971       Web of the Spider 
1970       The Virginian 
1968       The Name of the Game 
1968       In Enemy Country 
1968       The Sweet Ride 
1968       A Man Called Gannon 
1967       Fathom 
1966       Fame Is the Name of the Game 
1966       The Swinger 
1966       Assault on a Queen 
1966       A Man Could Get Killed 
1964       Valentine's Day 
1964       The Pleasure Seekers 
1964       Rio Conchos 
1964       Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre 
1963       The Greatest Show on Earth 
1963       Breaking Point 
1963       Arrest and Trial 
1963       Naked City 
1963       The DuPont Show of the Week
1963       The Dick Powell Theatre 
1962       Period of Adjustment 
1962       Careless 
1961       Go Naked in the World 
1960       The DuPont Show of the Month 
1960       Hallmark Hall of Fame 
1959       The Story on Page One   
1959       Career 
1958       The Naked Maja 
1958       The Long, Hot Summer 
1957       Wild Is the Wind 
1957       A Hatful of Rain 
1957       A Face in the Crowd 
1957       This Could Be the Night 
1956       Ford Star Jubilee 
1955       Kraft Theatre 
1955       Studio One in Hollywood 
1954       Goodyear Playhouse

Matinee Classics - A Face in the Crowd starring Andy Griffith, Patricia Neal, Anthony Franciosa, Walter Matthau, Lee Remick
Matinee Classics - Assault on a Queen starring Frank Sinatra, Virna Lisi, Anthony Franciosa, Richard Conte, Alf Kjellin, Reginald Denny, Errol John and Murray Matheson
Matinee Classics - Matt Helm starring Anthony Franciosa, Ann Turkel, Laraine Stephens, Patrick Macnee, John Vernon, Val Bisoglio, Gene Evans, Michael C. Gwynne, Hari Rhodes, James Shigeta, Catherine Bach, Richard E. Butler, Frank Campanella, Charlie Picerni, Joan Shawlee and Marc Alaimo
Matinee Classics - Matt Helm starring Anthony Franciosa, Ann Turkel, Laraine Stephens, Patrick Macnee, John Vernon, Val Bisoglio, Gene Evans, Michael C. Gwynne, Hari Rhodes, James Shigeta, Catherine Bach, Richard E. Butler, Frank Campanella, Charlie Picerni, Joan Shawlee and Marc Alaimo

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