Abe Vigoda, the actor who played Sal Tessio in the classic Godfather film series, has died. He was 94.
His daughter, Carol Vigoda Fuchs, confirmed his death to AP. The cause was old age.
In The Godfather, he played Sal Tessio, a friend of patriarch Vito Corleone. Mr Vigoda's character tried to take over Corleone's crime family following his death. However, his attempt to kill heir Michael Corleone, played by Al Pacino, was thwarted and Tessio killed.
Mr Vigoda also found great success on TV playing Detective Phil Fish in seventies sitcom ‘Barney Miller’. His character proved so successful that he later began his own spin off, entitled 'Fish'. However, he continued to make occaisional appearances on the original show.
In addition to appearing on screen, he worked in theatre for 30 years. His roles included John of Gaunt in Richard II and Abraham Lincoln in short lived Broadway comedy Tough to Get Help.
He became famous late in life, once saying: "When I was a young man, I was told success had to come in my youth. I found this to be a myth. My experiences have taught me that if you deeply believe in what you are doing, success can come at any age."
He gained noteriety over time due to repeated reports that he had died, which all proved to be false.
Tributes have been emerging on social media to the actor:
Abe Vigoda is gone. He made me smile every time he walked into our studio and brightened our day. Thank you Abe for your grace and humor.— Matt Lauer (@MLauer) January 26, 2016
"Can you get me off the hook, Tom? For old times' sake?" RIP #AbeVigoda— James Andrew Miller (@JimMiller) January 26, 2016
They got an old-fashion toilet...you know, the box, and...and...ah the chain-thing. We might be able to tape the gun behind it. #abevigoda— Matthew Cooper (@mattizcoop) January 26, 2016
RIP Abe Vigoda. Great till the end.— TJD (@t_deg) January 26, 2016
Abe Vigoda. My affection for him was personal, not business. Rest in Peace.— Frank Conniff (@FrankConniff) January 26, 2016
Damn. Abe Vigoda passed. So long, Fish.— Eric (@EricM_LBC) January 26, 2016