“I want to know the connection between the elves and the Nazis.” – Abe Vigoda, unsolicited
It’s official, we’ve had more celebrities die in the first month of 2016 than in all the months of the past six years combined. This time around, the Reaper placed his icy-hot hand on Abe Vigoda’s shoulder, cutting his life way too short, ultimately succumbing to complications of being 94.
Most people will remember Abe as Fish from Barney Miller and the oddly named spinoff Fish, but you may be stunned to know that he was also in the first The Godfather. After appearing as Tessalone in that stinker, he managed to procure higher-profile work in such classics as Cannonball Run II, The Stuff, Prancer, Joe Versus the Volcano, North, Jury Duty, Good Burger, and Farticus.
Abe’s greatest claim to fame was people believing he’s been dead for about three decades running. In fact, these constant misunderstandings played right into Abe’s hands as the perfect cover for his secondary career as one of the chief assassins for the CIA. Nicknamed “The Abegel of Vigodeath,” Abe single-handily ended the reigns of terror of dictators such as Augusto Pinochet, Pol Pot, Ferdinand Marcos, Idi Amin, William McKinley, Mahatma Gandhi, and John Lennon.
He will be missed by everyone who knew him, feared by everyone who crossed him, and mourned by everyone who slept with him.