Joseph Campanella Dead at 93

Actor Joseph Campanella died on Wednesday, May 16. He was 93.

Campanella, who received a Tony Award nomination in 1962 for best supporting actor for his performance in "A Gift of Time" along with Emmy nominations for Days of our Lives and Mannix, died of natural causes, his daughter-in-law, Sandy Campanella, said.

Campanella received his first Emmy Award nomination for playing private eye Joe Mannix's boss on the first season of the 1967-75 CBS series Mannix. His character's name, Lew Wickersham, was a sly reference to then-MCA head Lew Wasserman and Lankershim Boulevard, an entryway to Universal Studios.

However, Intertect, the heartless crime-fighting corporation that Wickersham headed, was written out after the first season as Mannix (Mike Connors) went out on his own, and Campanella's contract was not renewed.

The actor also appeared in the recurring role of Ed Cooper, the ex-husband and father on CBS' One Day at a Time, and was Barbara Stanwyck’s love interest, Hutch Corrigan, on the Dynasty ABC spinoff, The Colbys. He guest-starred in Dallas as Joseph Lombardi, Sr. in 1989, and portrayed a former boyfriend who resurfaces on a 1973 episode of CBS' The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

In 1987, Campanella joined the cast of the daytime drama Days of our Lives, portraying hard-nosed politician Harper Deveraux, and he appeared on other soap operas like The Bold and the Beautiful (as Jonathan Young), The Guiding Light (as Joe Turino) and The Doctors (as Alec Fielding, during the show's first year).

He played David Hasselhoff's dad on Baywatch, and his numerous other TV appearances include Melrose Place, Knots Landing, Ironside, Counselor at Law, The Fall Guy, The Love Boat, Murder, She Wrote, Star Trek: Voyager and The Practice.

Joseph Campanella was born November 21, 1924, in New York City. From a large Sicilian family, he spoke Italian before English. He attended Holy Cross, then served in the Navy during World War II.

He received a B.A. from Manhattan College in English literature and went to grad school at Columbia in speech and drama. During the time, he also was offered a baseball contract by the New York Giants but turned it down.

Campanella worked as a radio sportscaster in Lewiston, Pa., then returned to New York as a broadcaster in the foreign-language unit of the Voice of America. After studies with Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio, he began his professional acting career as a TV stuntman. That led to roles in many live TV presentations, including Studio One, Kraft Theatre and Philco Playhouse.

During this period, he commuted to California to appear in such series as Chrysler Theatre, Run for Your Life, The Big Valley, The Fugitive, The Doctors and the Nurses, The FBI and Mission: Impossible.

Campanella made his Broadway debut in 1962's short-lived "The Captains and the Kings," starring Dana Andrews. This was followed by his performance in Garson Kanin’s "Gift of Time" and then a stint as Judy Holliday's leading man in "Hotspot."

Campanella moved to California in 1969 to star as Brian Darrell in the lawyer segment of Roy Huggins' The Bold Ones, which also starred Burl Ives and James Farentino. He was a longtime resident of Toluca Lake and named honorary sheriff of the neighborhood.

His film appearances included Murder, Inc. (1960), The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre (1967), the rodent thriller Ben (1972), Child Under a Leaf (1974) and Meteor (1979).

Campanella also did extensive voice work. He was the narrator for National Geographic Specials and The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau documentary series in the 1970s and heard on commercials for products ranging from Maybelline to BMW.

He also hosted the new This Is Your Life series.

Campanella married singer-dancer Jill Bartholomew in May 1964, and they had seven sons. He is survived by them all, along with eight grandchildren.

The clip below features some of Campanella's work on Days of our Lives.

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