Joe Bologna, Celebrated Actor, Director, Writer, Dead at 82
Joe Bologna, who with his wife Renée Taylor made a big impression on TV, film and the stage across six decades, has died at 82, "Extra" has learned.
In a family statement, it was confirmed Bologna died of pancreatic cancer Sunday.
"He had a beautiful life and a beautiful death having fully and gratefully experienced three years since being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer at Cedars-Sinai," Taylor said. She had wed Bologna after being introduced to him by talk-show host Merv Griffin, marrying him on an episode of "The Merv Griffin Show" in 1965.
In 1970, Bologna and Taylor's play "Lovers and Other Strangers" was made into a smash-hit film that earned three Oscar nominations, including one for the couple for Best Adapted Screenplay. The film featured a host of well-known figures and rising stars, and marked Diane Keaton's debut, leading to her casting in "The Godfather" (1972).
The following year, the Bologna and Taylor wrote and starred in the acclaimed film "Made for Each Other."
20th Century Fox
The couple in "Made for Each Other," Bologna's film debut as an actor
The couple won the Emmy for their work on the Marlo Thomas TV special "Acts of Love and Other Comedies" (1973).
Bologna worked steadily, logging affectionately remembered appearances in hits like "My Favorite Year" (1982), "Blame It on Rio" (1984) and "Big Daddy" (1999). He also did voice work, including on "Superman: The Animated Series" (1996-1998), and was prolific in the theater. Bologna and Taylor co-wrote more than 20 plays, including "It Had to Be You," "Bermuda Avenue Triangle" and "If You Ever Leave Me I'm Going with You."
This year, Bologna was honored at the Night of 100 Stars Oscar Gala Lifetime Achievement event for his career and his efforts on behalf of the Motion Picture Fund Hospital.
Bologna's final film is "Tango Shalom," a comedy he wrote and starred in that is set to be released soon.
Bologna is survived by Taylor and their son, Gabriel.