Robert Loggia: A classy face of cinema

The movies lost a great player on Friday. My tribute to Robert Loggia.

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A gangster named Frank Lopez in Scarface. A toy company CEO in Big. A priest. A wise man. A dozen cops. Two dozen other gangster roles. For over 64 years and 230 different movies and television roles, Robert Loggia was a face of cinema you couldn’t forget. General Grey in Independence Day! Loggia played three different characters on the 1970’s series, The Rockford Files. Charlie’s Angels. Starsky and Hutch.You name it and Loggia played it.

He was FBI agent Nick Mancuso for over 20 episodes. He was Coach Wally Rig in the Scott Bakula football cult classic, Necessary Roughness. Loggia, after five hard years of battling Alzheimer’s Disease, passed away Friday at the age of 85 years young. He earned every one of them and his work in the land of make believe to live on for decades. You can watch his movies on Netflix tonight if you wanted. He wasn’t in it for the fame and glitz. Loggia was a true actor. A worker. Hard edged and passionate.

Born and raised in New York City, Loggia broke into acting at the age of 21 years old and did more than four projects per year. Like Christopher Walken, he didn’t care what the role was. He just did it and did it well. In a way you would remember. No one will ever forget Loggia’s raspy laugh and street wide smile and cackle. It was a signature part of every role he played.

He never stopped working. In 2015, he had four releases planned and has three incomplete films slated for post production as this is typed. The only thing that could have kept Loggia off a set was his lovely wife Audrey, whom he was married to since 1982. What St. Louis and Missouri film fans may not know is that Loggia graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a journalism degree in 1951, the year he started acting. He served in the army and spent time on Broadway.

Nothing scared Loggia when it came to life or film. He was a month shy of his 86th birthday when he passed. The film world owes a debt to him. How many actors can you think of have acted in over 200 films or TV shows? How many have played in so many and elevated every single one they were in?

Loggia was a classic face of film, someone you see and smile knowing that the part he is playing will be played with fierce attention to detail and the authenticity that a film fan covets.

Stop by Netflix tonight and watch these Loggia aided films. Wide Awake, Over the Top, or the holiday film, An Evergreen Christmas.

Author: D. Buffa

A regular guy who feels a journalistic hunger to tell the news. I blog because its wired into my brain to write what I think in print. I offer an opinion. A solo tour here. Take regular stories and offer my spin on them. Sports, film, television, music, fatherhood, culture, food, and so on. Commentary on everything. A St. Louis native and Little Rock resident who wants to write just to keep the hands fresh and ready.

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