HomeEntertainmentChick Vennera, ‘Golden Girls’ Actor, Dies at 74

Chick Vennera, ‘Golden Girls’ Actor, Dies at 74

by Keeli Parkey
(Photo by Desiree Navarro/FilmMagic)

Another member of the beloved “Golden Girls” family has passed away. According to Variety, that actor was Chick Vennera. He was 74 years old at the time of his death on Wednesday, July 7, in Burbank, California.

His daughter, Nikky Vennera, reported that the actor passed away due to lung cancer.

Fans of “Golden Girls” will recognize Vennera for two roles he played during the original run of the iconic sitcom. First, according to IMDb, the actor appeared in the 1989 episode titled, “Fiddler On the Ropes.”

In this episode, Chick Vennera played the character of Pepe. He was a Cuban boxer Sophia Petrillo (played by Estelle Getty) decides to train in the hopes that she can make money if he is victorious in the ring. The episode has a few funny moments where the very short – and grandmotherly – Sophia is training the young and agile Pepe.

Also, “Fiddler on the Ropes” was the 18th episode of the popular sitcom’s fourth season. Chick Vennera returned to “The Golden Girls” for two more episodes that also aired during 1989.

In these two episodes, he played the character, Enrique Mas. These two episodes were “Rose Fights Back” and “All That Jazz.”

“Rose Fights Back” was the fourth episode of the show’s fifth season. In this episode, Chick Vennera plays a local television consumer reporter Rose Nylund (played by Betty White) starts to work for. Rose takes this job after learning that she can no longer draw money from a pension fund.

The “All That Jazz” episode of “The Golden Girls” was the 10th episode of the sitcom’s fifth season. This episode’s main plotline dealt with Dorothy Zbornak’s son, Michael, moving in with her and the rest of the girls after his wife forces him to leave their house.

His Roles on ‘The Golden Girls’ Weren’t the Only Ones Chick Venerra Had During His Career

Playing the characters of Pepe and Enrique Mas in “The Golden Girls” weren’t the only characters Chick Venerra played during his career. He had many others and several of those came as part of his work as a voice actor.

In 1992, the actor used his voice to help bring the character Twitch to life on “Batman: the Animated Series.”

He also appeared as a voice actor in 22 episodes of the popular cartoon, “Animaniacs” from 1993 through 1998. Vennera voiced the characters of Pesto, Sparrow, and Joe P. in this animated series. He also lent his voice to “The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest.”

In addition to his work on “The Golden Girls” and as a voice actor, Vennera was also famous for a scene from the 1978 film, “That God It’s Friday.” In that film, he danced on top of a group of cars. This scene became famous. Other films he worked on during his career included “Yanks” and “Milagro Beanfield War.”

Chick Vennera was born in Herkimer, New York, on March 27, 1947. His father was a musician.

Chick loved the arts from the time he was a child. He studied dance, piano, clarinet, and saxophone in his youth. This love of the arts continued throughout his life and led him to move to California to study acting at the Pasadena Playhouse.