Tony Musante

Active - 1965 - 2007  |   Born - Jun 30, 1936   |   Died - Nov 26, 2013   |   Genres - Drama, Thriller, Mystery

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Biography by AllMovie

Though he appeared to be the archetypal tense, tightly wound street punk, Tony Musante was in fact a reasonably well-behaved kid while growing up in Connecticut. After attending Oberlin College, Musante worked as a schoolteacher before making his off-Broadway acting bow in 1960. Three years later, producer David Susskind chose Musante to play a switchblade-wielding juvenile delinquent in the hour-long TV drama Ride With Terror; this developed into the 1967 film The Incident, with Musante repeating his role and winning several festival awards as a result. Following a healthy leading-man career in Italian pictures and in such Hollywood productions as The Last Run (1971), Musante returned to TV to star as chameleonlike New Jersey cop Dave Toma in the 1973 series Toma. When he left the series over creative differences after a single season, the program was retooled as Baretta, with Robert Blake in the title role. Tony Musante went on to earn an Emmy nomination for his performance in the 1975 TV movie A Quality of Mercy, and that same year made his long-overdue Broadway debut in PS Your Cat is Dead. He played Mafia boss Nino Schibetta on the first season of the HBO series Oz and continued working steadily up until his death in 2013 at age 77, as a result of complications from surgery.

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