03 Feb Tony Danza ~ A Genuinely Nice Guy
Tony Danza (born Anthony Salvatore Iadanza; April 21, 1951 in Brooklyn, New York) is an American actor, television personality, tap dancer, boxer and teacher who starred on the TV series “Taxi” and “Who’s the Boss?”, for which he was nominated for an Emmy Award and four Golden Globe Awards. In 1998, Danza won the People’s Choice Award for Favorite Male Performer in a New Television Series for his work on the 1997 sitcom “The Tony Danza Show” (not to be confused with his 2004–2006 daytime variety talk show of the same name). He has also appeared in films such as Don Jon, Angels in the Outfield, The Hollywood Knights, Going Ape! and Crash.
Danza’s father was of Italian ancestry and Danza’s mother was an immigrant from the town of Campobello di Mazara in the Sicilian province of Trapani. He has a younger brother, Matty Jr. (born 1954), a Los Angeles restaurant owner. He earned a bachelor’s degree in history in 1972 from the University of Dubuque, which he attended on a wrestling scholarship. In 1975, as a joke, Danza’s friends entered him in the New York City Golden Gloves. After knocking out his first six opponents all in the first round, Danza was knocked out in the finals.
During his first year of college, he had the Robert Crumb “Keep on Truckin'” character tattooed on his upper right arm. In a 1985 interview in Us Weekly magazine, Danza remarked, “I was playing pool with a guy who had all these tattoos, and I wanted to be friends.” Danza also sports a “Keep Punching” boxing gloves tattoo on his right shoulder as well as “Tracy”, his (former) wife’s name, on his chest. In college, Danza met and married his first wife.
Danza was a professional boxer with a record of 9–3 (9 knockouts, 7 in the first round), with all but one of his fights, wins and losses, ending in a knockout, including three technical knockouts.
Acting and show business
Shortly after his college graduation from the University of Dubuque, Danza was discovered by a producer at a boxing gymnasium in New York He then earned a spot on the television show Taxi, playing a cab driver and part-time boxer Tony Banta, and later starred on Who’s the Boss?, in which he portrayed a former baseball player, housekeeper, and single father Tony Micelli. For his contribution to the television industry, in 1988, Danza was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7000 Hollywood Boulevard. Danza also plays the role of Mel Clark, a baseball player in Angels in the Outfield (1994).
Danza also starred in the short-lived sitcoms Hudson Street (1995) and The Tony Danza Show (1997), not to be confused with his 2004–2006 talk show, The Tony Danza Show. He had a role in the TV drama Family Law from 2000 until 2002.
He was nominated for an Emmy Award for a guest-starring 1998 role in the TV series The Practice. His movie debut was in the comedy The Hollywood Knights (1980), which was followed by Going Ape! (1981). He received critical acclaim for his performance in the 1999 Broadway revival of the Eugene O’Neill play The Iceman Cometh. In 2002, Danza released his debut album The House I Live In as a 1950s-style crooner
Danza hosted his own TV talk show, The Tony Danza Show that was produced each weekday morning in his hometown of New York and was syndicated across the US until May 26, 2006.
He starred on Broadway as Max Bialystock in The Producers, from December 19, 2006, to March 11, 2007, and reprised his role at the Paris Las Vegas from August 13, 2007 to February 9, 2008.
Danza hosted the 4th season of The Contender in 2008.
A Broadway adaptation of 1992 film Honeymoon in Vegas opened on a pre-Broadway run at New Jersey’s Paper Mill Playhouse on September 26, 2013, co-starring Danza and Tony nominee Rob McClure, with Gary Griffin directing. Danza was inducted into the Ride of Fame in December 2014, and the double-decker sightseeing bus commemorated his role in the Broadway musical.
Danza starred as Tony Caruso Sr. in the 2018 Netflix series, The Good Cop as “a disgraced, former NYPD officer who never followed the rules.” It was cancelled after one season.
During the 2009–2010 school year Danza filmed A&E reality show Teach: Tony Danza, in which he co-instructed a 10th grade English class at Northeast High School in Philadelphia. It premiered on October 1, 2010. The book I’d Like to Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had: My Year as a Rookie Teacher at Northeast High (ISBN 9780307887863), which was released in 2012, was based on his year of teaching.
Danza’s first marriage was to Rhonda Yeoman. They wed in 1970 and divorced in 1974. Their son Marc appeared with Tony on Taxi in two episodes as Brian Sims. Tony and Rhonda reconciled in 1983 and had a daughter.
In 1986, Danza married Tracy Robinson. The couple separated in 2006 and divorced on February 6, 2013. They have two daughters.
In 2008, Danza and his son Marc published a cookbook, Don’t Fill Up on the Antipasto: Tony Danza’s Father-Son Cookbook. Net worth reportedly is $40 million.
Since August of 2020, there has been much hype about a reboot of Who’s the Boss? 30 years later with Tony Danza and Alyssa Milano’s characters. Let’s cross our fingers it makes it to the production floor and into our homes. As the pandemic has slowed so much of the industry’s business, we will be patient.