Val Bisoglio, Actor in ‘Saturday Night Fever’ and ‘M*A*S*H’, Dies at 95

Val Bisoglio, a character actor whose credits across film, television and theater date back more than 50 years, died on Oct. 18. He was 95.

Bisoglio died in his mountain home near Los Olivos, Calif. His death was confirmed to Variety by his wife Bonnie Bisoglio.

Born Italo Valentino Bisoglio on May 7, 1926 in New York City, Bisoglio was raised by parents who had immigrated from towns near Monferrato, Alessandria, Italy. He began acting under the tutelage of Jeff Corey and appeared on the New York stage in productions such as “Kiss Mama,” “A View from the Bridge” and “Wait Until Dark,” as well as in New York City’s Shakespeare in the Park with Arthur Penn.

Bisoglio also starred in an array of television shows from the 1960’s on. His best-known roles were as Sgt. Sal Pernelli, the cook on “M.A.S.H.,” and Danny Tovo in “Quincy, M.E.” His final television role was as Murf in “The Sopranos” in 2002.

Bisoglio also garnered numerous film credits over his career. He played Frank, Sr., the father to John Travolta’s Tony Manero, in “Saturday Night Fever.” Bisoglio was also featured in 1979’s “The Frisco Kid” in the role of Chief Gray Cloud.

In addition to acting, Bisoglio participated in the Mobilization for Youth pilot project of the Kennedy Administration, an anti-poverty program that trained teenage dropouts for employment.

Bisoglio is survived by his wife of 25 years, Bonnie B. Ray Bisoglio, as well as his sons Joseph Valentino Bisoglio and his wife Devon, Sgt. Scott Chapman and his wife Andrea and Casey DeFranco. He is also survived by brothers-in-law Will R. Ray, E. Scott Ray and wife Kerry, Gaylord W. Ray and wife Cindy and J. Enos Ray and his wife Julie.

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