Iconic American actor who appeared in more than 200 television and film roles dies at 93

Rodolfo Vieira
May 17, 2018
03:01 P.M.
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The veteran actor drew his last breath at the age of 93, leaving behind a legacy that only a handful of people come close to match.


Campanella passed away at his home in Los Angeles, California, on Wednesday, May 16, 2018. He appeared in over 200 movies throughout his 60-year career in Hollywood.

Born and raised in New York City, from a large Sicilian family, the late actor learned to speak Italian even before English, but that didn't stop him from pursuing his dreams, as reported by Variety.

Campanella attended Holly Cross, a Roman Catholic church located in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood. Right after that, he was called upon to fight for his country as part of the Navy during World War II.


The actor studied English literature while attending Manhattan College and then moved on to Columbia University, where he graduated in speech and drama. During this period, he turned down a baseball contract made by the New York Giants.

He began his professional career as a TV stuntman, an opportunity that he held onto after studying with Lee Strasberg at Actors Studio. He starred in Kraft Television Theatre, Philco Playhour and Studio One.


Those roles allowed him to play bigger parts in series such as Counselor at Law, The Love Boat, Murder, She Wrote, Star Trek: Voyager and The Practice. But he didn't just appear on television.

In 1962, Campanella made his Broadway debut in The Captains and the Kings alongside Dana Andrews. The Hollywood legend took a liking to the stage and appeared in Hotspot and Gift of Time shortly after.

The 93-year-old also lent his voice to two well-known documentary series: National Geographic Specials and The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau.

He left behind his wife of 53 years. Jill Campanella, who he married in 1964, as well as seven sons and eight grandchildren.