Character Actor Richard Foronjy, Known for ‘Midnight Run’ and ‘Serpico,’ Dies at 86

Richard Foronjy, an actor known for his roles in films such as “Midnight Run,” “Prince of the City,” and “Carlito’s Way,” passed away at the age of 86 on Sunday. Before pursuing a career in acting, Foronjy had a unique upbringing in the gangster world and even served time in prison.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., Foronjy got his start in acting with a small role as Corsaro in the 1973 crime drama “Serpico.” This film, directed by Sidney Lumet and starring Al Pacino, tells the story of a whistleblower whose actions prompted an investigation by the Knapp Commission into corruption within the police department.

In the 1984 film “Repo Man,” Harry Dean Stanton and Emilio Estevez starred alongside Foronjy, who portrayed Arnold Plettschner, a rent-a-cop known for his memorable speech: “You’re absolutely right, I’m Plettschner! Arnold Plettschner! Decorated three times in two world wars! I was taking lives while you were still swimming around in your father’s testicles! You insignificant scumbag! I spent five years working in a slaughterhouse and ten years as a prison guard in Attica!”

He starred alongside Robert De Niro and Charles Grodin in the 1988 comedy action film “Midnight Run” where he portrayed the character of mobster Tony Darvo.

In the 1993 crime drama “Carlito’s Way” starring Al Pacino and Sean Penn, Foronjy portrayed the character of Peter Amadesso, a mobster. The movie revolves around the story of Carlito Brigante, played by Pacino, a criminal who is determined to abandon his life of crime.

He also appeared in various other roles, including films like “Once Upon a Time in America,” “Ghostbusters II,” “Prince of the City,” and numerous television series such as “Who’s the Boss,” “Murphy’s Law,” “Silver Spoons,” “The Jeffersons,” “Cagney & Lacy,” and “Hill St. Blues.”

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In addition to his on-screen work, Foronjy also showcased his writing skills in his 2020 memoir titled “From the Mob to the Movies: How I Escaped the Mafia and Landed in Hollywood” written under the name Richie Salerno. Published in 2020, the book delves into Foronjy’s journey from his involvement with the mob in New York to his successful career in Hollywood.

Foronjy’s legacy lives on through his children: Charles Foronjy, Susan Argentina, Christine Argentina, and Richard Foronjy. He is also survived by his partner, Wendy Odell Chiaro, as well as his three brothers: Charles, Frank, and William. Together, they carry on his memory. Furthermore, he is blessed with 17 grandchildren, who will continue to cherish his impact on their lives.

Remembering Charles Grodin and His Memorable Performance in ‘The Heartbreak Kid’

Charles Grodin was an incredibly talented actor, known for his charming and cringe-worthy performance in the film ‘The Heartbreak Kid.’ His portrayal of Lenny Cantrow, a man who falls in love with another woman on his honeymoon, left a lasting impression on audiences.

Grodin’s ability to bring both charm and discomfort to his characters was truly remarkable. He had a unique talent for making audiences simultaneously root for and cringe at his actions. In ‘The Heartbreak Kid,’ he perfectly captured the awkwardness and vulnerability of a man torn between two women.

The film, directed by Elaine May and released in 1972, was a dark romantic comedy that showcased Grodin’s exceptional acting skills. His portrayal of Lenny Cantrow was nuanced and layered, showcasing his ability to convey complex emotions with ease.

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Grodin’s performance in ‘The Heartbreak Kid’ earned him critical acclaim and solidified his reputation as a versatile actor. His ability to seamlessly transition between comedy and drama was truly remarkable, and it’s no surprise that he became one of the most sought-after actors of his time.

Beyond his work in ‘The Heartbreak Kid,’ Grodin had a long and successful career in film and television. He appeared in numerous beloved movies, such as ‘Midnight Run’ and ‘Beethoven,’ and also made memorable guest appearances on popular TV shows.

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