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Joseph Bologna (born December 30, 1934-died August 13, 2017) appeared as Charlie Verducci, a construction worker friend of Al's, who shares an apartment with son Vincent "Vinnie" Verducci (Matt LeBlanc) who appears on Married with Children in an episode titled "Top of the Heap" in Season 4, which would serve as the pilot episode for a short-lived FOX-TV spinoff, "Top of the Heap" in 1991.


Early life and career[]

Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Joseph is a graduate of Brown University, where he majored in art history. After a hitch with the Marines, Bologna was hired to produce and direct Manhattan-based TV commercials.

Bologna has a long history in film and television. His breakthrough film, Lovers and Other Strangers, written with his wife Renée Taylor, was based on the true-life circumstances of organizing a wedding on short notice with the involvement of his Italian extended family and Renée's Jewish clan. Several relatives performed as extras in the final cut. A year later, in 1971, the couple again collaborated to write and perform in the movie Made for Each Other.

Joseph stayed close with his old-neighborhood aunts and uncles after becoming successful. Two of them were slightly famous on their own: his Uncle Pat was "Blacky the Bootblack", whom Joseph Kennedy credited as his main influence when he sold all of his stock holdings in the summer of 1929 (the market crashed in October), and his aunt Pauline was one of the best-known chefs to the stars, working for Jackie Gleason, Burt Reynolds and many other luminaries.

Bologna's aunt Pauline chastised him for starring in the nudity-contained Blame it on Rio co-starring Michael Caine. Bologna replied, "Blame it on me, it's the last time I invite Aunt Pauline to a film premiere." In 1976, he starred in the television drama What Now, Catherine Curtis? with Lucille Ball, although as Bologna's other best-known film roles are that of temperamental 1950s television star Stan "King" Kaiser in the 1982 comedy hit My Favorite Year, starring Peter O'Toole and of Lenny Koufax, the frustrated father of Sonny Koufax, who was played by Adam Sandler in the 1999 comedy Big Daddy.

By 1987, Bologna was starring in the short-lived TV musical sitcom Rags to Riches as the millionaire mogul turned foster father, Nick Foley. The show aired for two seasons.

He played the mad scientist Dr. Malavaque in the 1985 comedy "Transylvania 6-5000". From 1996 to 1998, he voice-acted the character Inspector Dan Turpin, a hot-headed police officer modeled after Jack Kirby, in several episodes of Superman: The Animated Series.

Later career[]

In 2006, he became the voice of Mr Start in "Ice Age: The Meltdown". He is married to actress Renée Taylor, with whom he has a son, Gabriel. Taylor and Bologna have also co-starred on stage and on TV. Bologna played a love interest for his real-life wife in the "Maternal Affairs" episode of the CBS sitcom "The Nanny" in the sixth and final season in which Taylor plays Sylvia, the already-married mother of Fran Drescher's character. He also appeared in the first season episode "The Gym Teacher" as a famous, temperamental and obnoxious actor for whom Maxwell Sheffield once interned. From 2012 until before his death in 2017 Bologna appeared in numerous TV and motion picture leading and guest starring roles, including roles on NCIS, Funny or Die, stage productions and national commercials. In 2017, Bologna received the Night of 100 Stars Oscar Gala Lifetime Achievement Award from actor comedian Richard Lewis and his peers to celebrate his 60-year career and for his efforts to help save the Motion Picture Home and Hospital in 2012.


Bologna died in Duarte, California, on August 13, 2017, from pancreatic cancer.[1][2] He was 82.


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