Val Bisoglio, a noted character actor who famously played the role of John Travolta’s father in ‘Saturday Night Fever,’ has died at the age of 95 years. He was also known for starring in TV series like ‘M*A*S*H’, ‘Quincy, M.E.’ and ‘The Sopranos’. He also worked in lesser-known shows like ‘The Doctors And The Nurses’ and ‘The Cool World’. Bisoglio breathed his last on October 18, 2021, at his mountain home near Los Olivos, California. The tragic news was confirmed by his wife Bonnie Bisoglio on Saturday, October 23, 2021.
The actor was married to Bonnie B Ray Bisoglio for 25 years and shares three sons with her. He is survived by his wife and sons Joseph Valentino Bisoglio, Casey DeFranco, and Sgt. Scott Chapman. His death was mourned by fans on social media, who paid homage to his unparalleled legacy. “He was a REALLY GREAT actor. Peace unto his soul, condolences to his wife, family, relatives & friends,” a fan mourned.
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Who was Val Bisoglio?
Born on May 7, 1926, in New York City, Italo Valention Bisoglio was raised in an Italian immigrant family. His parents had moved from Alessandria, Italy to the States and settled in New York City. Bisoglio learned acting under the tutelage of Jeff Corey and started out as an actor on stage productions like ‘Kiss Mama’, ‘Wait Until Dark’ and ‘A View from the Bridge’. He also notably acted with Arthur Penn in New York City’s ‘Shakespeare in The Park’.
From the early 1960s, Bisoglio made his debut on television and became well-known for his role as Sgt. Sal Pernelli in ‘M.A.S.H.’ and Danny Tovo in ‘Quincy, M.E.’ He also appeared in shows like ‘McCloud’, ‘Barney Miller’, ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show’, ‘Roll Out’, ‘Kojak’, ‘McMillan & Wife’, ‘Baretta’ and ‘The Rockford Files’. He later joined the cast of the iconic TV show ‘The Sopranos’ as Murf Lupo, which remained his final role on television. However, Val Bisoglio gained worldwide fame after he played the role of a short-tempered Frank Monero Sr. in ‘Saturday Night Fever’, the 1977 cult classic featuring John Travolta as Tony Manero. He has worked in a few other films like ‘Serpico’, ‘The Brotherhood’, ‘No Way to Treat a Lady’, The Don Is Dead’, ‘The Hindenburg’, ‘St. Ives’ and ‘The Frisco Kid’.
How did Val Bisoglio die?
The exact cause of Val Bisoglio’s death was not revealed by his family but many have assumed that he passed away from age-related complications. He was remembered by his legion of fans on social media, one of whom tweeted, “95 is impressive but I’m still sad to see this. I first saw him in WAIT UNTIL DARK on stage where he had the role that Jack Weston played. I thought he was a scene stealer and that’s difficult when you’re appearing with Lee Remick and Robert Duvall.”
Recalling his famous family dinner scene from Saturday Night Fever, another fan said, “Hey, Val Bisoglio…have yourself an extra pork chop in heaven tonight.”
95 is impressive but I’m still sad to see this. I first saw him in WAIT UNTIL DARK on stage where he had the role that Jack Weston played. I thought he was a scene stealer and that’s difficult when you’re appearing with Lee Remick and Robert Duvall. https://t.co/01BJrWLqk8
— Charles S Lore (@Clore_Man) October 24, 2021