Tony Musante Dead at 77

Tony Musante, an actor who was seen on television, in films and on stage in the United States and Europe for over 50 years, died on Tuesday in Manhattan. He was 77.

His wife, Jane, said the cause was a hemorrhage, which occurred while he was recovering from oral surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital.

On daytime television, he played Rose's (Martha Byrne) adoptive father, Joe D'Angelo, on AS THE WORLD TURNS. He also appeared as Robert McKenzie Houston in LOVING.

In primetime, he starred as Det. David Toma in TOMA in the 1973-74 season. He famously had a one-year out clause in his contract and left the show to take the lead role in TV movie, Judgment: The Court Martial of Lt. William Calley. TOMA was remade as BARETTA, a vehicle for a replacement star, Robert Blake.

"People in Hollywood always asked him if he regretted it, but he really never did," Jane Musante told The New York Times of her husband, adding: "He didn't become the household name, or make the money he would have had he done it. But he needed variety."

Musante viewed his role in TOMA as a big break, in a sense, and he landed his first Broadway show because of it, in "P.S. Your Cat is Dead!" Mustante earned a Drama Desk Award for his work.

His other primtime television credits included roles in OZ, 100 CENTRE STREET, POLICE STORY and THE EQUALIZER.

His film credits included Once a Thief, The Incident and Spy Connection.

Born Anthony Peter Musante in Bridgeport, Conn., on June 30, 1936, he graduated from Oberlin College in Ohio in 1958 and attended a summer drama school at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., before moving to New York. He and his wife were married in 1962 and lived in Manhattan.

In addition to his wife, Musante is survived by two sisters, Cecelia Sisti and Katherine Walker, and a brother, Thomas.


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