Bruno Kirby

Active - 1971 - 2006  |   Born - Apr 28, 1949 in New York, New York, United States  |   Died - Aug 14, 2006   |   Genres - Comedy, Drama, Crime, Comedy Drama

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Biography by Sandra Brennan

Character and supporting actor Bruno Kirby (he also billed himself as B. Kirby or Bruce Kirby) made his film debut in Young Graduates (1971). Kirby was born Bruno Quidaciolu Jr. and is the son of actor Bruce Kirby. For a while he appeared regularly on the television education drama Room 222 (1969-1974) and launched into steady carefree appearances in made-for-TV movies such as The Summer Without Boys (1973) and features such as The Harrad Experiment (1973). He first gained notice for a small role he played as Clemenza in The Godfather, Pt. II (1974). It was not until the late '80s that he began getting much larger roles and greater respect. The turn-around came when Kirby was cast as Lieutenant Hauk, the hilariously untalented wanna-be comedian, in charge of zany Robin Williams' morning radio show in Good Morning Vietnam (1987). One of his most memorable roles of the '80s was that of Billy Crystal's best buddy, a man who finds romantic bliss with Carrie Fisher, in When Harry Met Sally (1989). In 1991, he again turned in another charming performance as Ed Furillo in City Slickers (1991). In 1997, he played a supporting role in Donnie Brasco. In addition to feature-film work, he also continued to appear frequently on television series as a guest star and in movies-of-the-week. He died suddenly of leukemia, at age 57, on August 14, 2006.

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  • Grew up in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of New York City, where his dad (character actor Bruce Kirby) took him to see movies on 42nd Street and to acting classes taught by Lee Strasberg.
  • Worked as an usher at Radio City Music Hall.
  • Appeared in the 1972 pilot for M*A*S*H.
  • Introduced costar Marlon Brando to real-life "godfather" John Gotti during the filming of The Freshman.
  • Was allergic to horses and required daily injections during the filming of City Slickers.
  • Made his Broadway debut in 1991, when he replaced Kevin Spacey in Neil Simon's Pulitzer Prize-winning play Lost in Yonkers.
  • Costarred in the 1996 film Sleepers, which was set in Hell's Kitchen; he remembered seeing Lorenzo Carcaterra, whose book was adapted into the film, around the neighborhood when they were both kids.
  • Died from complications related to leukemia in 2006.