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US character actor Abe Vigoda, who starred in the 1970s television series 'Barney Miller' and 'The Godfather, died Tuesday, January 26, 2016 at his daughter's residence in Woodland Park. - AFP pic
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ABE Vigoda, the sad-faced star of Francis Ford Coppola’s classic film The Godfather, died Tuesday at 94, his manager told AFP.
The actor died at the home of his daughter, Carol Vigoda Fuchs, in New Jersey.
“She went to get him something to drink and when she came back he was gone,” said manager Sid Craig, who represented him for decades.
Vigoda apparently died of old age.
“He didn’t seem particularly sick or tired. I don t think Abe was ever sick,” Craig added.
Vigoda was born in New York City to Russian Jewish immigrant parents. His father was a tailor.
The actor cut his teeth on Broadway. But arguably his greatest on-screen impact came when Vigoda played sunken-eyed mafioso Sal Tessio in The Godfather.
He was also famous for playing detective Phil Fish on television’s Barney Miller. The character was so popular it was spun off into its own series, Fish.
In his later years, the twice-married Vigoda was mistakenly reported to have died on several occasions, becoming a running social media joke.