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).