Vincent Schiavelli Biography
Vincent Schiavelli was an American actor, best known for his work in theatre, cinema, and television. He was born on November 11, 1948, in Brooklyn, New York. Schiavelli was diagnosed with Marfan syndrome in childhood, a genetic disorder that affects the body’s connective tissue.
Vincent Schiavelli attended Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School in Brooklyn, where he developed an interest in acting. He went on to study acting through the theatre program at New York University and began performing on stage in the 1960s.
Schiavelli gained fame as a character actor, primarily in supporting roles. His first casting was in the 1971 comedy Taking Off. The Great Gatsby (1974), For Pete’s Sake (1974), and The Happy Hooker (1975), before he got his biggest break starring in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) alongside Jack Nicholson. Other notable films include Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Ghost, Batman Returns, The People vs. Larry Flynt, and Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies as psycho killer Dr. Kauffman. His distinctive appearance and talent provided him with a steady stream of supporting roles, often in films directed by Miloš Forman.
In addition to his work in film, Vincent Schiavelli also appeared on television, including roles in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, WKRP in Cincinnati, Benson, and Taxi. He was the first sustained portrayal of a gay character on American television in The Corner Bar. Vincent Schiavelli was also an honorary co-chair of the National Marfan Foundation, an organization that serves those affected by Marfan syndrome, from which Schiavelli suffered.
Vincent Schiavelli was married twice in his life. He and his first wife, actress Allyce Beasley, were married from 1985 to 1988. They had one son, composer Andrea Schiavelli. He then married harpist Carol Sue Mukhalian on October 23, 1992, and they remained married until his death.
Vincent Schiavelli passed away suffering with of lung cance on December 26, 2005, at his home in Polizzi Generosa, the Sicilian town where his grandfather Andrea Coco was born.