Frank Puglia

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Frank Puglia
Frank Puglia in Orphans of the Storm.jpg
Frank Puglia in Orphans of the Storm (1921)
Francesco Giuseppe Puglia

(1892-03-09)9 March 1892
Died25 October 1975(1975-10-25) (aged 83)
Occupation Actor
Years active 19211975
Spouse(s)Irene Veneroni
(m. 19??; died 1973)

Francesco Giuseppe "Frank" Puglia (9 March 1892 – 25 October 1975) was an Italian actor. He had small, but memorable roles in films including Casablanca (a Moroccan rug merchant), Now, Voyager and The Jungle Book .



Born in Linguaglossa, Catania, Sicily, the actor started his career as a teen on stage in Italian operas. [1] He emigrated to the U.S. in 1907. He left from Naples on the ship Italia.

In New York City he worked in a laundry before joining an Italian language theater group. While appearing on stage, he was discovered by D. W. Griffith, which began an acting career spanning over 150 films. [2] He usually played ethnic types in films, and claimed to have learned English from reading newspapers.

He was originally cast as the undertaker, Bonasera, in Francis Ford Coppola's movie The Godfather (1972), even participating in Marlon Brando's screen test, but he fell ill before filming could begin. He was replaced by Sicilian actor Salvatore Corsitto. [3]

He died on October 25, 1975, in South Pasadena, California, and he is buried in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Hollywood, California. [4]

On August 10, 2016, he was celebrated in his hometown, Linguaglossa.[ citation needed ]


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  1. "Overview for Frank Puglia". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  2. "Frank Puglia". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  3. Lebo, Harlan (2005) [1997]. The Godfather Legacy: The Untold Story of the Making of the Classic Godfather Trilogy Featuring Never-Before-Published Production Stills. New York: Simon and Schuster. pp. 87, 129. ISBN   9780743287777.
  4. "Frank Puglia, 83, Actor Of Stage, Screen and TV". The New York Times. November 21, 1975. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved February 16, 2019.