Tony Danza

Tony Danza


Life Story

Tony Danza is an American actor, perhaps best known for starring on some of television's most beloved and long-running series, including Taxi (1978-1983) and Who's the Boss (1984-1992).

Danza was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, to Anne (Cammisa), a bookkeeper, and Matty Iadanza, a garbageman. His mother was an Italian immigrant, and his father was also of Italian descent. He grew up in Malverne, Long Island. Danza received a wrestling scholarship to the University of Dubuque in Iowa, where he earned a bachelor's degree in history education. Before finding a job teaching, he found himself earning a living as professional boxer, envisioning himself the next Rocky Graziano. Changing his name to "Dangerous" Tony Danza, he entered the New York Golden Gloves in 1975. Shortly afterward, on Aug. 13, 1976, he started his professional boxing career. Fighting as a middleweight, Danza became a crowd favorite for his walk-in slugging style. He compiled a record of 9-3 with nine knockout victories, seven in the first round.

It was during a gym workout that he was discovered for the part of Tony Banta on the ABC TV show Taxi (1978). Danza still had hopes of being a world champion and scored knockouts in 1978 and 1979 but, unable to secure a title shot, retired from boxing to dedicate himself totally to his acting career. Taxi was critically acclaimed, earning him a place in television history and making him a household name. He followed Taxi with a starring role in the classic ABC comedy series Who's the Boss? (1984), which ran for eight seasons and broke all syndication records. He became known for his lovable sitcom personae.

Danza received an Emmy nomination for a guest-starring role in The Practice (1997) and acclaim for his performance in the Broadway revival of "The Iceman Cometh" by Eugene O'Neill. He also starred in the comedy series Hudson Street (1995) and The Tony Danza Show (1997), for which he was executive producer. His additional television credits include an acclaimed performance opposite George C. Scott and Jack Lemmon in the remake of the film classic 12 Angry Men (1997) and the television movies The Wonderful World of Disney: The Garbage Picking Field Goal Kicking Philadelphia Phenomenon (1998), The Wonderful World of Disney: Noah (1998), The Girl Gets Moe (1997), North Shore Fish (1997) and Deadly Whispers (1995).


Tracy Robinson (28 June 1986 - 6 February 2013) ( 2 children)


Attended and graduated from Malverne Senior High School in Malverne, Nassau County, New York (1968).
Received his Bachelor's degree in history from the University of Dubuque (1972), which he attended on a wrestling scholarship.
He was actually behind the wheel of the taxicab that's driving across the bridge during the beginning credits of every episode of Taxi (1978).
Before he starred on Taxi (1978), Tony was a boxer and was still fighting professionally during the first few seasons.
In 1993, he broke his back skiing in Utah, and had plates, rods and screws in his spine. He lost his house in the Northridge earthquake on January 17, 1994.
Was named as "King of Brooklyn" at the Welcome Back to Brooklyn Festival (1999).
Wrote to the late Tupac Shakur while he was in prison. The two later became friends.
Tony Micelli, Danza's character on Who's the Boss? (1984), was ranked #23 in TV Guide's list of the "50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time" [20 June 2004 issue].
Tony's son, Marc Anthony Danza, appeared on two episodes of Taxi (1978) in which Marc played a foster child that Tony wanted to adopt.
Made his professional boxing debut on August 3, 1976 by knocking out Earl Harris in the first round.
Danza scored first round knockouts over Earl Harris, Joe Marcetti, Ralph Garcia, Ray Bryant, Tony Rodriguez, Billy Perez and Max Hord.
On May 9, 2005, he escaped a serious injury when the mini stock-car he was driving flipped over and he wasn't wearing a helmet.
His character Tony Banta on Taxi (1978) was originally named Phil Banta. The producers thought with him being an inexperienced actor that he would not respond to the name Phil, so they changed it to his real life name.
The metal rock band The Tony Danza Tap Dance Extravaganza was named after the actor.
Became a grandfather for the first time on August 27, 2005 when son, Marc Anthony Danza, 34, and wife Julie, also 34, welcomed baby Nicholas David.


Personal Quotes 

I am looking forward to getting to do things I have never done before.
Everyone kept telling me, Just be yourself. Be yourself. I kept thinking, there's got to be more to it than that!
Hold back the tide. Keep your kids innocent as long as possible.
We are cutting things kids like-music, art, and gym classes; stuff that kept me in school. This country can't survive without you kids. It's all about you kids.
I love to cook and I know a lot of people watching love those segments, but so often they feel rushed to me. If we give 'em a bit more time to breathe, people will get more out of them.
Don't try too hard to be young. Be who you are.
I got this call that they wanted me to join this cast. They called it a family show, and it thought that it would be similar to all family shows. I wasn't sure about this until I watched some tapes, and was amazed.
We did 112 shows and had 112 parties.
In an earthquake, I shouldn't run out of the house - I should run into it.
I did Vibe, and I felt old and paternal. I've got ties older than people in that audience. I had a talk with myself. I said, You've got to deal with this better.
The joke I wanted to put into one of the promos for this new season, was to have a guy come up to me and say, Hey! Tony! I love your show, I've watched you every night since you started! And then I'd say, Ah! You're the one!
Sometimes it's like watching a train wreck. You're uncomfortable, but you just can't help yourself. Some of those so-called bad interviews actually turned into compelling television.



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