Val Bisoglio, Actor Known for ‘Sopranos’ and ‘Saturday Night Fever,’ Dies at 95

by Keeli Parkey
(Photo by FilmPublicityArchive/United Archives via Getty Images)

Val Bisoglio, the actor who played the father of John Travolta’s character, Tony Manero, in the classic film “Saturday Night Fever,” has passed away.

According to Deadline, Bisoglio was 95 years old at the time of his death. According to information shared by his widow, the respected actor passed away at his home in San Olivos, California. His cause of death was Lewy body dementia. Bisoglio died on Oct. 18.

In addition to his role in “Saturday Night Fever,” Val Bisoglio was also known for his work in the television series, “Quincy, M.E.” In that series, he starred alongside Jack Klugman. Bisoglio played the character Danny Tovo during the late 1970s and early 1980s.

In more recent years, Val Bisoglio was also recognized for his work in “The Sopranos” during the early 2000s. According to IMDb, Bisoglio appeared as the character Murf.

As fans of the show will remember, Murf was once a capo of Junior Soprano’s crew. Bisoglio was in three episodes of the beloved drama during 2002. The titles of his three episodes of “The Sopranos” were “For All Debts Public and Private,” “Christopher,” and “Pie-o-My.”

In the end, Junior Soprano wasn’t all that pleased with Murf. So, Bobby “Bacala” Baccalieri was selected to take over for the aging capo. Bringing Bobby to life was “Blue Bloods” star Steve Schirripa.

These episodes were part of the fourth season of the popular HBO drama. Interestingly, they were the last acting credits listed on Val Bisoglio’s filmography.

Val Bisoglio Appeared in Many Teleivision Series During His Acting Career

These roles weren’t the only ones Bisoglio had during his decades-long career. There were also many, many others. For example, it was during 1973 that the late actor starred in his first regular role in a television series. The show that gave him this opportunity was “Roll Out.”

Bisoglio also appeared in many other famous television series. His worked included roles in such series as “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “The Partridge Family,” “All in the Family,” “Love, American Style,” “Mannix,” “Bonanza,” “Mayberry R.F.D.,” “Kojak,” “Baretta,” “Ironside,” “Barney Miller,” “Police Woman,” “The Rockford Files,” “Starsky and Hutch,” and “M.A.S.H.”

His appearance in “Saturday Night Fever” wasn’t the only film Val Bisoglio appeared in during his career. He also appeared as the character of Chief Gray Cloud in the 1979 film, “The Frisco Kid.” This popular comedy also starred Gene Wilder.

Bisoglio Was Born in New York City to Italian Immigrants

Val Bisoglio was born on May 7, 1926, in New York City. His given name at birth was Italo Valentino Bisoglio. His parents were Italian immigrants. They came to the United States from the Casale Monferrato area near Piedmont, Italy.

Bisoglio began acting in 1964. It was two years later that he made his debut on the Broadway stage. His first play was “Wait Until Dark.” His co-stars in that production were movie star Robert Duvall and Lee Remick.

In addition to his wife, Bisoglio left behind two sons –  Joseph Bisoglio and Scott Chapman.