Actor Joe Bologna, husband of Renée Taylor passes away at age 82

Originally published August 16, 2017

Actor, screenwriter and husband of the beloved Renee Taylor, Joe Bologna passed away this past Sunday after a battle with pancreatic cancer, at the age of 82.

Bologna and Taylor had just celebrated their 52nd wedding anniversary days before his passing. When asked at the celebration what the meaning of life was, Bologna simply answered "Love."

I always love celebrating the long-lasting relationships of famous people or entertainers. While success and fame can get in the way of many relationships (no judgment,) it's always nice to hear about a couple who lasted 'til the end despite spending decades in the spotlight. In my opinion, it can be lovely motivation to keep on keeping on with your professional endeavors while also nurturing your personal relationships. If it works well for some, who's to say it can't work out for many of us as well?

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Bologna and Taylor worked together on projects for many decades, even creating their own Broadway show, Lovers and Other Strangers, and adapting that into a film which earned them an Academy Award nomination.

Check out the video below of them singing a duet while being honored at the 1995 NY Alumni's annual reunion.

Bologna even made a couple of appearances on The Nanny, the show that Taylor was most well known for. She played the popular character of Fran's mother Sylvia Fine, who cracked us up every week with her sterotypical and campy portrayal of a nosey and insatiable Jewish mother. Bologna portrayed two characters in the show: A nightmare of Mr. Sheffield's professional past, the cocky actor Alan Beck, and a doctor that Syliva is having an affair with behind her husband Morty's (played by Steve Lawrence) back.

As a teenager watching the Nanny, I always was blown away by how emotional Renee Taylor looked as she was serenaded by the character of Morty in the clip below. But when I later realized more and more about the professional and personal life of her and her husband, it made me realize that this gesture on the show was something that meant a lot to her in real life. And I always believed that the reason they chose Lawrence to play Morty was to have that moment between Fran's parents mirror the real life relationship between Taylor and Bologna.

 

Feel free to check out the links below to watch Joe Bologna's two performances on The Nanny. His versatility is very apparent by the fact that many people forgot he played both characters.

 

Sydney YaekoComment