Tony Danza

Active - 1980 - 2021  |   Born - Apr 21, 1951 in Brooklyn, New York, United States  |   Genres - Comedy, Drama

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Biography by Hal Erickson

A graduate of the University of Dubuque, Tony Danza was busy with a profitable if not spectacular career as a boxer when he began tentatively moving into acting. His first important TV role was, appropriately, as erstwhile boxer Tony Banta on the popular sitcom Taxi. During his Taxi years, Danza built up the screen image of the pugnacious, not overly bright lug with a golden heart. In 1984, Danza was cast as Tony Micelli, the widowed housekeeper of divorced career woman Angela Bower (Judith Light), on the weekly domestic comedy Who's the Boss? enjoying a popular eight-season run. Danza's first starring film role in She's Out of Control (1988), as the overprotective father of teenager Ami Dolenz, was more or less an extension of his TV work; the actor demonstrated a wider range in the supporting role of a dying baseball player in the 1994 remake of Angels in the Outfield. He executive produced The Jerky Boys movie, and continued to appear in projects such as the remake of 12 Angry Men, Glam, and The Garbage-Picking, Field Goal-Killing, Philadelphia Phenome. At the start of the next century he made a handful of appearances as himself on animated shows like Family Guy and King of the Hill, and he appeared in the made-for-TV holiday film Stealing Christmas.

Movie Highlights

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  • Qualified for the finals in the New York Golden Gloves; later turned professional boxer.
  • Began a production company in 1991 called Katie Face Productions, named for his daughter Katherine.
  • Debuted on Broadway in a 1998 revival of A View From the Bridge.
  • Signed former Apprentice contestant Ereka Vetrini as his assistant on The Tony Danza Show.
  • Taught English for the 2009-10 school year at a Philadelphia high school as the basis for the reality series Teach: Tony Danza.