Writer, Director, and Actor Joseph Bologna Dies at 82

Obituaries   Writer, Director, and Actor Joseph Bologna Dies at 82
The stage and screen star is survived by his wife and longtime collaborator, Renée Taylor.
Joseph Bologna
Joseph Bologna MGM/UA Entertainment

Writer, director, and actor of stage and screen Joseph Bologna passed away at age 82 following a three-year battle with pancreatic cancer, the New York Times reports. Onstage, Bologna is known for his collaborations with wife Renée Taylor; the couple wrote and co-starred in a number of Broadway shows that touched on the comedic side of romance and marriage.

Taylor and Bologna’s play Lovers and Other Strangers opened at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre in 1968. An evening of four comedic one-acts, each depicting a different couple and exploring a particular moment in their relationship, the play only ran a short time on Broadway. The 1971 film adaptation, however, was a box-office success, and earned the couple an Oscar nomination.

Taylor and Bologna returned to Broadway in 1981 with It Had to Be You, a romantic comedy about an actor and a producer of television commercials, in which the pair also starred.

In 2001, the couple brought their real-life story to the stage in If You Ever Leave Me…I’m Going With You!, an evening of stories from their long marriage and sketches that they had written and performed over the years.

Throughout their relationship, the couple co-wrote over 20 plays and collaborated on a number of film and television projects, including the Emmy-winning Acts of Love and Other Comedies. They were married 52 years.

On screen, Bolgona is also well known for his performance in the 1982 film My Favorite Year. His other film credits include Cops and Robbers, Honor Thy Father, The Big Bus, Chapter Two, and Big Daddy.

Visit Bologna’s Playbill Vault profile for a more detailed account of his work on Broadway.

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