James Coco

James Emil Coco (March 21, 1930 – February 25, 1987) was an American character actor and singer. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for Only When I Laugh (1981).[1]

James Coco
James Coco 1973
James Coco in 1973.
BornMarch 21, 1930
DiedFebruary 25, 1987 (aged 56)
New York City, U.S.
Resting placeSaint Gertrude Cemetery & Mausoleum, Colonia, New Jersey, U.S.
OccupationActor, singer
Years active1940s–1987

Early life and career

Born in Little Italy, Manhattan,[2] Coco was the son of Felice Coco, a shoemaker, and Ida Detestes Coco.

The family moved to the Pelham Bay section of the Bronx when he was an infant, where he lived until his late teens.[2]

James began acting straight out of high school.[1] He received his acting training at HB Studio[3] in New York City. As an overweight and prematurely balding adult, he found himself relegated to character roles. He made his Broadway debut in Hotel Paradiso in 1957, but his first major recognition was for Off-Broadway's The Moon in Yellow River, for which he won an Obie Award.[4]

Coco's first modern collaboration with playwright Terrence McNally was a 1968 off Broadway double-bill of the one-act plays Sweet Eros and Witness, followed by Here's Where I Belong, a disastrous Broadway musical adaptation of East of Eden that closed on opening night. They had far greater success with their next project, Next, a two-character play with Elaine Shore, which ran for more than 700 performances and won Coco the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Performance. Sixteen years later, the two would reunite for the Manhattan Theatre Club production of It's Only a Play.[4]

Coco also achieved success with Neil Simon, who wrote The Last of the Red Hot Lovers (1969) specifically for him. It earned him a Tony Award nomination as Best Actor in a Play. The two later joined forces for a Broadway revival of the musical Little Me and the films Murder by Death (1976), The Cheap Detective (1978) and Only When I Laugh (1981), for which he was both Oscar-nominated and Razzie-nominated.[5]

Film and television roles

Coco's additional film credits include Ensign Pulver (1964), End of the Road (1970), The Strawberry Statement (1970), Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon (1970), A New Leaf (1971), Such Good Friends (1971), Man of La Mancha (1972), Scavenger Hunt (1979), Wholly Moses! (1980) and The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984) as well as a starring role in The Wild Party (1975). Several of his films were released posthumously: Hunk (1987) and That's Adequate (1989).[5][6]

On television, Coco starred on two unsuccessful 1970s series, Calucci's Department and The Dumplings, and made guest appearances on many series, including ABC Stage 67, The Edge of Night, Marcus Welby, M.D., Trapper John, M.D., Medical Center, Maude, Fantasy Island, Alice, The Eddie Capra Mysteries, Murder, She Wrote, The Muppet Show, The Carol Burnett Show,The Love Boat and St. Elsewhere, for which he won an Emmy Award. One of his last television assignments was a recurring role as Nick Milano on the sitcom Who's the Boss?.[6]

Awards

Year Award Category Work Result
1972 Golden Globe Award Best Supporting Actor Man of La Mancha Nominated
1982 Academy Awards Best Supporting Actor Only When I Laugh Nominated
Golden Globe Award Best Supporting Actor Nominated
Golden Raspberry Award Worst Supporting Actor Nominated
1983 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Supporting Actor St. Elsewhere Won

Death

Coco died at Cabrini Hospital on February 25, 1987, at age 56. He had suffered a heart attack at his Greenwich Village home.[1] The Los Angeles Times states that he died of a heart attack.[5] He is buried in St. Gertrude's Roman Catholic Cemetery in Colonia, New Jersey.[7]

Filmography

References

  1. ^ a b c Bennetts, Leslie (February 26, 1987). "James Coco, Character Actor On Stage and TV and in Films". The New York Times. p. 19.
  2. ^ a b McQuiston, John T. (February 26, 1987). "JAMES COCO, MOVIE, TV AND STAGE ACTOR, DIES". The New York Times. Retrieved 5 March 2019.
  3. ^ HB Studio Alumni
  4. ^ a b James Coco at the Internet Off-Broadway Database
  5. ^ a b c "Emmy Award-Winning Actor James Coco, 56, Dies of Heart Attack". Los Angeles Times. Associated Press. February 26, 1987. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
  6. ^ a b James Coco on IMDb
  7. ^ Wilson, Scott (September 16, 2016). Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons (Third ed.). McFarland & Company, Inc. p. 144. ISBN 978-1476625997. Retrieved 27 June 2018.

External links

Bye Bye Monkey

Bye Bye Monkey (Italian: Ciao maschio, French: Rêve de singe) is a 1978 Italian-French film, directed by Marco Ferreri and starring Gérard Depardieu, Marcello Mastroianni, James Coco and Geraldine Fitzgerald. It is about a man who finds a baby chimpanzee in a giant King Kong prop and decides to raise it like a son. It was filmed in English and shot in Long Island, New York. As this was a French-Italian co-production, French and Italian dubbed versions were made for their respective countries' theatrical releases.

Ensign Pulver

Ensign Pulver is a 1964 American Technicolor film in Panavision and a sequel to the 1955 film Mister Roberts. The movie stars Robert Walker Jr., Burl Ives, Walter Matthau and Tommy Sands and features Millie Perkins, Larry Hagman, Kay Medford, Peter Marshall, Jack Nicholson, Richard Gautier, George Lindsey, James Farentino and James Coco.The film was directed and co-written by Joshua Logan, who had directed and co-written the Mister Roberts stage play on Broadway, and also shot scenes for the 1955 film after director John Ford fell ill.

The story concerns the U.S.S. Reluctant, which is at anchor beside a tropical island. The ship's captain is as much of a "Captain Bligh" as ever. Several of the film's events – such as attacking the Captain while he is watching a film, and one the sailors trying to obtain compassionate leave to deal with a dying child – are taken from Thomas Heggen's original novel Mister Roberts. The characters of Pulver, Doc and several crewmen return from the first film, but played by different actors.

Generation (film)

Generation is a 1969 American comedy film directed by George Schaefer and written by William Goodhart. The film stars David Janssen, Kim Darby, Pete Duel, Carl Reiner, Andrew Prine and James Coco. The film was released on December 15, 1969, by AVCO Embassy Pictures. It is based on the 1965 play of the same name.

Hunk (film)

Hunk is a 1987 American comedy film directed by Lawrence Bassoff and starring John Allen Nelson, Steve Levitt, James Coco and Deborah Shelton. The plot concerns a man, Bradley Brinkman, who signs an agreement with an agent of the devil, which grants him a transformed body and a new identity, Hunk Golden. He must decide whether to continue living in this new body or return to his old one.

James Wade (basketball)

James Wade (born August 15, 1975), known as Coco, is an American basketball head coach for the Chicago Sky of the WNBA. Wade was an assistant basketball coach for the Minnesota Lynx of the WNBA and also an assistant basketball coach for Euroleague team UMMC Ekaterinburg, which also plays in the Premier Basketball League in Russia. He is a former professional basketball player who has played his entire professional career in Europe.

List of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson episodes (1970)

This is a list of all The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson episodes that aired between January 1, 1970 and December 31, 1970.

Man of La Mancha (film)

Man of La Mancha is a 1972 film adaptation of the Broadway musical Man of La Mancha by Dale Wasserman, with music by Mitch Leigh and lyrics by Joe Darion. The musical was suggested by the classic novel Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes, but more directly based on Wasserman's 1959 non-musical television play I, Don Quixote, which combines a semi-fictional episode from the life of Cervantes with scenes from his novel.

The film was financed by an Italian production company, Produzioni Europee Associates, and shot in Rome. However, it is entirely in English, and all of its principal actors except for Sophia Loren are either British or American. (Gino Conforti, who plays the Barber, is an American of Italian descent.) The film was released by United Artists. It is known in Italy as L'Uomo della Mancha.

The film was produced and directed by Arthur Hiller, and stars Peter O'Toole as both Miguel de Cervantes and Don Quixote, James Coco as both Cervantes' manservant and Don Quixote's "squire" Sancho Panza, and Sophia Loren as scullery maid and prostitute Aldonza, whom the delusional Don Quixote idolizes as Dulcinea. Gillian Lynne, who later choreographed Cats, staged the choreography for the film (including the fight scenes).

Gino Conforti, as the barber, is the only member of the original Broadway musical cast to repeat his role for the film.

Murder by Death

Murder by Death is a 1976 American satirical mystery comedy film with a cast featuring Eileen Brennan, Truman Capote, James Coco, Peter Falk, Alec Guinness, Elsa Lanchester, David Niven, Peter Sellers, Maggie Smith, Nancy Walker, and Estelle Winwood, written by Neil Simon and directed by Robert Moore.The plot is a broad parody or spoof of the traditional country-house whodunit, familiar to mystery fiction fans of classics such as Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None. The cast is an ensemble of British and American actors playing send-ups of well-known fictional sleuths, including Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple, Charlie Chan, Nick and Nora Charles, and Sam Spade. It also features a rare acting performance by author Truman Capote.

The film was presented at the Venice International Film Festival in 1976.

Only When I Laugh (film)

Only When I Laugh is a 1981 American comedy-drama film based on Neil Simon's play The Gingerbread Lady.

The story is about an alcoholic Broadway actress who tries to stay sober, while dealing with the problems of her teenaged daughter and her friends: an overly vain woman who fears the loss of her looks, and a gay actor relegated to small roles in third-rate shows. Simon changed the main character's name to Georgia Hines for the film adaptation; the character was named Evy Meara in the stage version. The main character went from being a cabaret singer to a Broadway stage actress.

The film, written by Simon and directed by Glenn Jordan, stars Marsha Mason, Joan Hackett, James Coco, and Kristy McNichol. It also features two short scenes with then-unknowns Kevin Bacon and John Vargas. Simon's next release, I Ought to Be in Pictures, was released just six months later, and its plot was similar.

It was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Actress in a Leading Role (Marsha Mason), Best Actor in a Supporting Role (James Coco), and Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Joan Hackett). Only When I Laugh proved to be very successful at the box office.

Coco was also nominated for Worst Supporting Actor in Golden Raspberry Awards for the same role.

Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger Hunt is a 1979 American comedy film with a large ensemble cast which includes Richard Benjamin, James Coco, Scatman Crothers, Ruth Gordon, Cloris Leachman, Cleavon Little, Roddy McDowall, Robert Morley, Richard Mulligan, Tony Randall, Dirk Benedict, Willie Aames, Stephanie Faracy, Stephen Furst and Richard Masur. The film was directed by Michael Schultz, and released by 20th Century Fox. It includes an appearance by Arnold Schwarzenegger, and features cameos by Meat Loaf and Vincent Price.Filming took place in and around San Diego, California, incorporating local landmarks such as Balboa Park and the Centre City Building.

Such Good Friends

Such Good Friends is a 1971 American comedy-drama film directed by Otto Preminger and starring Dyan Cannon, James Coco, and Jennifer O'Neill. The screenplay by Esther Dale (a pseudonym for Elaine May) is based on the novel of the same title by Lois Gould.

That's Adequate

That's Adequate is a 1989 mockumentary documenting a fictional Hollywood studio, Adequate Film Studios. Narrated and hosted by Tony Randall, the film features an all-star cast including James Coco (in his final film role), Robert Downey Jr., Anne Meara, Jerry Stiller, Bruce Willis and Ben Stiller.It was also the last one for actress Ina Balin, who had also appeared in Hurwitz's previous films such as The Projectionist and The Comeback Trail.

The Better Half

The Better Half is an American comic strip created by Bob Barnes. It follows the lives of a married couple, Stanley and Harriet Parker, and the usual annoyances couples have with one another after years of marriage. In 1958, the strip won Barnes the National Cartoonist Society Newspaper Panel Cartoon Award.

James Coco and Lily Tomlin made a sitcom pilot based on the strip for ABC in the early 1970s, but no series was ever made.

The Cheap Detective

The Cheap Detective is a 1978 American satirical comedy film written by Neil Simon and directed by Robert Moore.It stars Peter Falk as Lou Peckinpaugh, a parody of Humphrey Bogart. The film is a parody of Bogart films such as Casablanca and The Maltese Falcon.The ensemble cast includes Madeline Kahn, Louise Fletcher, Ann-Margret, Eileen Brennan, Stockard Channing, Marsha Mason, Sid Caesar, John Houseman, Dom DeLuise, Abe Vigoda, James Coco, Phil Silvers, Fernando Lamas, Nicol Williamson, Scatman Crothers, Vic Tayback and Paul Williams.

The Dumplings (TV series)

The Dumplings is an American sitcom starring James Coco and Geraldine Brooks that aired on NBC from January 28 to March 31, 1976.

The Muppets Take Manhattan

The Muppets Take Manhattan is a 1984 American musical comedy drama film directed by Frank Oz. It is the third of a series of live-action musical feature films starring Jim Henson's Muppets with special appearances by Art Carney, James Coco, Dabney Coleman, Gregory Hines, Linda Lavin, and Joan Rivers. The film was produced by Henson Associates and TriStar Pictures, and was filmed on location in New York City during the summer of 1983 and released theatrically the following summer. It was the first film to be directed solely by Oz (who also performs Sam the Eagle, Fozzie Bear, Miss Piggy, and Animal), who previously co-directed The Dark Crystal with Henson.

The film introduced the Muppet Babies, as toddler versions of the Muppet characters in a fantasy sequence. The eponymous animated television series premiered on CBS in September 1984, airing until 1991.

This is also the final Muppet film to be released before the deaths of Jim Henson and Richard Hunt.

The Ray Bradbury Theater

The Ray Bradbury Theater is an anthology series that ran for two seasons on HBO, three episodes per season from 1985 to 1986, and four additional seasons on USA Network from 1988 to 1992. It was later shown in reruns on the Sci Fi Channel and later Retro Television Network. All 65 episodes were written by Ray Bradbury and many were based on short stories or novels he had written, including "A Sound of Thunder", "Marionettes, Inc.", "Banshee", "The Playground", "Mars is Heaven", "Usher II", "The Jar", "The Long Rain", "The Veldt", "The Small Assassin", "The Pedestrian", "The Fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl", "Here There Be Tygers", "The Toynbee Convector", and "Sun and Shadow".

Many of the episodes focused on only one of Bradbury's original works. However, Bradbury occasionally included elements from his other works. "Marionettes, Inc." featured Fantoccini, a character from "I Sing the Body Electric!". "Gotcha!" included an opening sequence taken from "The Laurel and Hardy Love Affair". Characters were renamed, and elements added to the original works to expand the story to 23–28 minutes or to better suit the television medium.

Each episode would begin with a shot of Bradbury in his office, gazing over mementos of his life, which he states (in narrative) are used to spark ideas for stories. During the first season, Bradbury sometimes appeared on-screen in brief vignettes introducing the story. During the second season, Bradbury provided the opening narration with no specific embellishment concerning the episode. During the third season, a foreshortened version of the narration was used and Bradbury would add specific comments relevant to the episode presented. During the fourth and later seasons, a slightly shorter generic narration was used with no additional comments.

Famous actors appearing in the series included Eileen Brennan, James Coco, William Shatner, Peter O'Toole, Patrick Macnee, Jeff Goldblum, Drew Barrymore, Hal Linden, Michael Ironside, Robert Vaughn, Eugene Levy, Saul Rubinek, Donald Pleasence, Denholm Elliott, David Ogden Stiers, John Saxon, Harold Gould, Bruce Weitz, Barry Morse, Eddie Albert, David Carradine, Sally Kellerman, Vincent Gardenia, Robert Culp, Shawn Ashmore, Richard Benjamin, John Vernon, Elliott Gould, Tyne Daly, Lucy Lawless, Jean Stapleton, Marc Singer, Michael Hurst, Louise Fletcher, Magali Noël, John Glover, Howard Hesseman, and Shelley Duvall.

The Wild Party (1975 film)

The Wild Party is a 1975 Merchant Ivory Productions film directed by James Ivory, produced by Ismail Merchant, and starring James Coco and Raquel Welch.An aging silent movie comic star of the 1920s named Jolly Grimm attempts a comeback by staging a party to show his new film. But the party turns into a sexual free-for-all and the comic ends up killing his mistress, Queenie, and an actor who has taken an interest in her.

The film was loosely based on a poem by Joseph Moncure March and filmed in Riverside, California. The poem was also made into two musicals, a Broadway show, composed by Michael John LaChiusa, which followed the poem very closely, and an off-Broadway production, composed by Andrew Lippa, which took some artistic liberties with the poem but still less than this movie.

A dance scene was choreographed by Patricia Birch.

Wholly Moses!

Wholly Moses! is a 1980 American Biblical spoof film directed by Guy Thomas. Dudley Moore plays Old Testament-era idol maker Herschel, whose life and adventures seem to parallel that of the more famous Moses, all the while being misled to think he is the prophet of God. The film also stars Laraine Newman, James Coco, Paul Sand, Jack Gilford, Dom DeLuise, John Houseman, Madeline Kahn, David Lander, Richard Pryor, and John Ritter.

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