Actor Robert Loggia reportedly died Friday at the age of 85.
Variety reports that Robert’s wife, Audrey, confirmed the news of the actor’s passing.
— Variety (@Variety) December 4, 2015
For nearly six decades, Robert Loggia built a collection of acting roles on television as well as the big-screen, including some of the most memorable movies of all time.
Robert was nominated for an Oscar award for Best Supporting Actor in 1986 thanks to his performance in the Richard Marquand-directed film Jagged Edge, starring Jeff Bridges and Glenn Close. His role in the 1988 film Big as Mr. MacMillan — the stubborn toy company owner that apparently had an inner child — placed him side-by-side future Oscar winner Tom Hanks in one of the most iconic scenes in movie history.
During a September 2011 interview with the A.V. Club, Robert Loggia had a chance to reflect on quite a few of his most memorable acting roles and scenes, including the epic piano dance scene in Big.
— Robert Maguire (@Robert_MND) December 4, 2015
According to Loggia, the original plan for that scene was completely different from what viewers enjoyed in the final cut. Tom and Robert were apparently not supposed to star in that particular scene at all.
“Well, when we came to the set, which was… F.A.O. Schwartz. We went up there, Tom [Hanks] and I, we see two guys dressed like we were, and they were going to shoot [the piano dance scene] with just the feet. We thought that was ridiculous. We told the guys who were dressed like we were to take a hike. So we were full-figure, which made it much more of a classic scene. Tom and I did all the dance. Full-figured view… It didn’t take long at all, really. Just about one take.”
Director Penny Marshall once stated that the piano dance scene was planned out months in advance. In the story, the scene allowed Tom Hanks’ man-child character Josh to finally have a quality bonding moment with his boss, Mr. MacMillan.
CNN reports that Marshall approached the inventor of the Big Piano, a now-iconic tourist attraction, and made a request for a basic instrument on which the actors could perform “Chopsticks” and “Heart and Soul.”
Cardboard mock-ups of the piano were designed for Tom Hanks and Robert Loggia to practice the routine at home. However, as stated by Loggia, dance doubles were initially hired for the close-up insert shots of their feet.
— Megan K. Olsen (@MeganKOlsen) December 4, 2015
Robert Loggia also starred in such films as An Officer and a Gentleman, Scarface, Necessary Roughness, and Independence Day.
Sad to read that Robert Loggia has died today, was brilliant in Scarface & The Sopranos, my favourite show & one of my fav movies.
— Darren Main (@MaveMUFC) December 4, 2015
oh my heart….Robert Loggia has died he had so many great roles but it was this one that is forever my fave.❤️ https://t.co/yLnvSqo1G3
— Jessie Jessup (@JessieJessup) December 4, 2015
On the small-screen, Robert delivered Emmy-nominated performances on Mancuso, FBI, in the late 1980s as the title character, and on Malcolm in the Middle, which starred Bryan Cranston and Frankie Muniz, in his supporting role as Grandpa Victor.
Robert Loggia married his first wife, Marjorie Sloane, in 1954. The couple had three children together — Tracey, Kristina, and John — before their marriage ended in 1981. Loggia later married Audrey O’Brien in 1982 and remained married to her until his death.
[Image Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images]