(written from a Production point of view)
Victor "Vic" Tayback (6 January 1930 – 25 May 1990; age 60), was an actor of Syrian Arabic descent born in New York City, New York. He portrayed Jojo Krako in the Star Trek: The Original Series second season episode, "A Piece of the Action". He filmed his scenes on Friday 3 November 1967, Wednesday 8 November 1967 and Thursday 9 November 1967 at Desilu Stage 9 and Stage 11.
However, he is best known for his Emmy-nominated and Golden Globe-winning role as Mel, the cook on the television series Alice. This series was based on Martin Scorsese's 1974 film Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, in which Vic Tayback also played the role of Mel.
In 1966, Tayback made uncredited appearances in the films Dead Heat on the Merry-Go-Round (with George D. Wallace) and Gambit (with John Abbott and Roger C. Carmel). He also had a small role in the 1968 film With Six You Get Eggroll, starring Brian Keith. His first major role came later that year in Bullitt, which also featured Joanna Cassidy in a bit part.
Tayback's other films include Emperor of the North Pole (1973, with Elisha Cook, Jr. and Sid Haig), The Don is Dead (also 1973 and also with Sid Haig), Papillon (also 1973, with Anthony Zerbe, Bill Mumy, and Peter Brocco), The Gambler (1974, starring Paul Sorvino), and The Shaggy D.A. (1976, with John Fiedler). He also co-starred with fellow TOS guest star Sally Kellerman and future Star Trek: Deep Space Nine actor Rene Auberjonois in 1976's The Big Bus, and in 1978, he co-starred with Louise Fletcher, James Cromwell, David Ogden Stiers, and Jonathan Banks in The Cheap Detective.
Throughout the 1980s, he starred primarily in made-for-TV movies, including 1982's Mysterious Two with Bill Quinn, Robert Pine, and Bruce French, and 1984's The Jesse Owens Story with LeVar Burton and Ronny Cox. Some of the feature films he appeared in this decade include Weekend Warriors (1986, with Graham Jarvis, Matt McCoy, and Camille Saviola), The Underachievers (1987, with Lee Arenberg and Michael Pataki), and Beverly Hills Bodysnatchers (1989, co-starring Frank Gorshin).
In 1989, he co-starred with future Star Trek: Voyager actor Robert Picardo in the comedy Loverboy. This film also starred Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan actress Kirstie Alley (as Picardo's wife). That same year, Tayback supplied the voice of the villainous mutt, Carface, in the animated film All Dogs Go to Heaven.
His final film was Horseplay, starring Voyager guest actor Brad Dourif and released in 1990.
Vic Tayback died of heart failure in Glendale, California.