Sam Coppola, American actor (Saturday Night Fever, Fatal Attraction) died he was 79
Sam Coppola was an American
actor. He appeared in almost 70 films, beginning in 1968, but may be
best remembered for his role as ‘Dan Fusco’, owner of the Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, hardware and paint store, in Saturday Night Fever, who gave John Travolta sage but salty advice in the classic 1977 film. Later in his career, Coppola made a brief but memorable appearance on The Sopranos as the idiosyncratic family therapist of Jennifer Melfi.
(July 31, 1932 – February 5, 2012)
Coppola was a cop in “Serpico” (1973), starring Al Pacino, and a detective in “Fatal Attraction” (1987), starring Michael Douglas and Glenn Close. His many TV credits include “The Good Wife“, “Law & Order“, “The Sopranos“, “Ryan’s Hope” and the 2001 A&E movie “The Heist,” in which he portrayed mob boss Paul Castellano. Coppola, no relation to film director Francis Ford Coppola, played a nursing home resident in a Chevy commercial that aired during 2011’s Super Bowl and a hot dog vendor in a Ball Park Franks spot starring Michael Jordan.
Coppola, a 38-year resident of Leonia, also had many stage roles. He
played the hobo Vladimir in a 2005 off-Broadway production of “Waiting for Godot” and an aging real estate salesman, Aaronow, in a 2000 production of Glengarry Glen Ross at the McCarter Theatre in Princeton.
Mr. Coppola died Feb. 5, 2012 from an aneurysm, and was predeceased
by his wife, Helen. He is survived by his children, Jason Coppola of
Brooklyn and Samantha Coppola of Bogota, and three grandchildren.
- The Anderson Tapes (1971)
- Serpico (1973)
- Saturday Night Fever (1977)
- Fatal Attraction (1987)
- Jacob’s Ladder (1990)
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