Oscar-nominated writer Joseph Bologna dies at 82

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PHOENIX (AP) — Oscar-nominated writer Joe Bologna has died. He was 82.

His manager Matt Sherman says Bologna died on Sunday in the Los Angeles area after a three-year battle against pancreatic cancer. The actor and director was married to actress Renee Taylor, who credited his doctors for prolonging his life so he could receive a lifetime achievement award at the “Night of 100 Stars” for the Actors’ Fund of America on Feb. 26.

“He had a beautiful life,” Taylor said in a statement.

Born Dec. 30, 1934, Bologna was a native to Brooklyn, New York. After he graduated from Brown University with a degree in art history, Bologna served in the Marines. Bologna and Taylor married in 1965.

“Joe was a loveable man, a kind soul, a good friend and always a pleasure to be with,” Sherman said.

He had a string of television appearances, but he was best known for the 1982 comedy “My Favorite Year.” Mr. Bologna was a voice actor for the 2006 animated film “Ice Age: The Meltdown” and had a role in the 1999 Adam Sandler comedy “Big Daddy.”

Mr. Bologna was nominated for an Oscar in 1971 for best adapted screenplay for “Lovers and Strangers,” from the short plays which starred Taylor. In his 1972 review of their next film (in which Bologna starred opposite his wife), “Made for Each Other,” Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert wrote: “This kind of comedy writing is rare in the movies — although recently we’ve had other examples such as “Taking Off” and “Minnie and Moskowitz” — and it’s even more rare to see it survive the filmmaking process intact. It’s so easy to compromise a scene, to play for the broad laugh and the obvious point; “Made for Each Other” bravely stays at the level of minutely examined human nature, and works.”

He and Taylor won an Emmy in 1973 for best writing achievement for the 1973 Marlo Thomas TV special “Acts of Love and Other Comedies.”

According to hollywoodreporter.com:

“He appeared in Neil Simon’s “Chapter Two “(1979); “Blame It on Rio” (1984), with Michael Caine and Demi Moore; “The Woman in Red” (1984), opposite Gene Wilder; and “Big Daddy” (1999), with Adam Sandler, a family friend.

On television in the 1990s, Bologna was a regular on the short-lived “Married With Children” … spinoff “Top of the Heap” — playing Charlie Verducci, the lowlife friend of Al Bundy (Ed O’Neill) — and “Rags to Riches,” with Tisha Campbell.

Bologna’s final work is a film he wrote and starred in, the soon to be released “Tango Shalom.” Taylor and their lifelong friend Lainie Kazan co-star; his daughter, Zizi, served as the music supervisor; and his son, Gabriel, directed it.”

Associated Press

Joe Bologna and Renee Taylor arrive at the Award Of Excellence Star presentation for the Screen Actors Guild at The Annex at Hollywood and Highland October 25, 2007 in Hollywood, California. | Noel Vasquez/Getty Images

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