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Vincent Schiavelli (10 November 194826 December 2005; age 57) was a character actor who appeared as the holographic Minosian peddler in the Star Trek: The Next Generation first season episode "The Arsenal of Freedom". He appeared in over 150 different films and television shows, becoming a familiar face in both media. In 1997, Vanity Fair magazine named Schiavelli one of America's best character actors. [1]

Personal life[]

Schiavelli was born in Brooklyn, New York and studied acting at New York University. He began acting on stage in the 1960s and made the transition to film and television in the 1970s.

He was married to actress Allyce Beasley from 1985 through 1988. Their son, Andrea Schiavelli, was born in 1987. In 1992, Schiavelli married harpist Carol Mukhalian, with whom he also had a child.

Schiavelli died of lung cancer at his home in the Sicilian village of Polizzi Generosa in Italy on 26 December 2005. He was 57 years old.

Career[]

Notable films[]

With a tall frame and deep-set, droopy eyes, Schiavelli is best remembered for playing eccentric characters. Such was the case with his role as a patient in One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975, directed by Milos Forman). Also starring in this film were his fellow Star Trek alumni Louise Fletcher, Brad Dourif, Christopher Lloyd, Peter Brocco, and Michael Berryman.

In addition, Schiavelli remains highly recognized for his role as the demented subway spirit in Ghost (1990, co-starring fellow Next Generation performers Whoopi Goldberg and Stephen Root). He is also known for his roles in Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982, with Ray Walston, Scott Thomson, and Hallie Todd) and Johnny Dangerously (1984, featuring Walston as well as Joe Piscopo). Schiavelli may also be remembered for his performance as Leonard the caddy opposite Tim Conway in the 1980s videos Dorf on Golf and Dorf and the First Games of Mount Olympus.

Besides One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Schiavelli appeared in several other films from Milos Forman, making his film debut in Taking Off (1971). His later collaborations with Forman include Amadeus (1984, starring Star Trek: Insurrection actor F. Murray Abraham), and The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996, with James Cromwell).

Star Trek: Enterprise writer and producer Manny Coto directed Schiavelli, as well as Aron Eisenberg and Christopher McDonald, in Playroom (1990). Schiavelli's other motion picture credits include Better Off Dead (1985, with David Ogden Stiers and Kim Darby), Batman Returns (1992, with Branscombe Richmond), Lord of Illusions (1995, with Scott Bakula, Famke Janssen, and Joel Swetow), Tomorrow Never Dies (1997, with Teri Hatcher and Michelle Yeoh), and Baadasssss! (2003, with Saul Rubinek).

Notable television appearances[]

Schiavelli landed his first series role shortly after starting out in Hollywood, that of flamboyant set designer Peter Panama during the first season of the ABC sitcom The Corner Bar. In this role, Schiavelli had the distinction of playing prime time television's first regular gay character. [2] Schiavelli was let go for the show's second season and Eugene Roche was brought in as a regular, but the season only lasted six episodes before it was canceled.

His only other series was CBS' Fast Times, a short-lived sequel to the 1982 film Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Schiavelli reprised his role from the film, biology teacher Mr. Vargas, while Ray Walston also reprised his film role for the series. Wallace Langham and Paul Willson were among the other series regulars, but the show was pulled after only seven episodes.

Schiavelli's first TV guest appearance was on a 1977 episode of Starsky & Hutch, which starred David Soul. In 1979, he and Tracey Walter played two characters named Don Pesola in an episode of WKRP in Cincinnati, which was produced by Bill Dial. This was followed by appearances on Benson (on which René Auberjonois was a regular), Night Court (starring John Larroquette, in an episode with the aforementioned Ray Walston), and Moonlighting (working with actress Allyce Beasley, whom he later married).

After appearing on The Next Generation, Schiavelli acted on several other genre series. On Tales from the Crypt, Schiavelli appeared in the episode "Mournin' Mess," written and directed by Manny Coto and co-starring Frank Kopyc and Steven Weber. He later played the role of Lenny on The X-Files in the 1995 episode "Humbug," directed by Kim Manners with co-stars Michael John Anderson and Wayne Grace. In 1998, he appeared as Uncle Enyos in two episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Both of his episodes co-starred Brian Thompson.

Projects with Christopher Lloyd[]

Schiavelli worked alongside Star Trek III: The Search for Spock actor Christopher Lloyd on six films and on one television series. After first collaborating in the aforementioned One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest, Schiavelli and Lloyd appeared together in Another Man, Another Chance (1977, featuring their Cuckoo's Nest co-star and fellow Trek veteran Michael Berryman. This was followed by Butch and Sundance: The Early Days (1979), which also featured an aforementioned Cuckoo's Nest actor, Peter Brocco, as well as Jeff Corey, John Schuck, Noble Willingham, and Peter Weller.

Schiavelli and Lloyd again worked together when Schiavelli made a trio of appearances as Reverend Gorky on the NBC television series Taxi, on which Lloyd was a regular, in 1982 and 1983. Next, they worked alongside Peter Weller a second time in The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (1984, co-starring Clancy Brown, Jonathan Banks, and Robert Ito).

Years later, Schiavelli and Lloyd both appeared in the 1999 biographical drama Man on the Moon also starring Carol Kane and Tracey Walter. This last film chronicled the life of their bizarre Taxi co-star Andy Kaufman. Schiavelli and Lloyd did not have any scenes together in the movie; Schiavelli appeared as an executive of ABC (Taxi's original network) while Lloyd played himself as an actor on Taxi. It was also Schiavelli's sixth and final film for director Milos Forman.

Lastly, Schiavelli and Lloyd lent their voices to Hey Arnold!: The Movie (2002, with Paul Sorvino).

Other Trek connections[]

Films[]

Television[]

External links[]

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