Abe Vigoda dead: Godfather actor dies aged 94

The actor became famous late in life, and once said: 'I was told success had to come in my youth. I found this to be a myth'

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The Independent Online

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: