He had built a career in stand-up, film and television, but a fall from a ladder left him with a personal struggle.
Art Metrano, comedian and actor who has appeared in more than 120 TV shows and films, including the" Police Academy "films, before a fall from a ladder seriously injures him.which he turned into a solo show that he performed nationwide, passed away on September 8 at his home in Aventura, Florida. He was 84 years old.
His son Harry has confirmed his death. Cause not given.
M. Metrano first gained attention with an act of parody magic. Presented as the Amazing Metrono or with an equally grandiose name, it would go out and perform a series of tricks that weren't really tricks. He would present each hand to the audience, index finger up, then clap his hands behind his back and present them again - now two fingers of one hand would be up, neither of the other.
The schtick earned him appearances in "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson " and matched other shows in the early 1970s. At that time , he was also building an acting career, having dropped out of phis roles in "Mannix ", "Bewitched " and other series in the late 1960s; this series continued into the 70s with "Barney Miller ", "Movin 'On ", "Starsky and Hutch " and dozens of other shows.
The 1980s brought more acting work, including a role in "Joanie Loves Chachi " and, in 1985, a role in "Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment ", a sequel to the hit comedy from 1984. He played Mauser, a career officer who becomes a captain and is the subject of jokes; in a scene , he washes his hair with epoxy resin. He reprized the role in 1986 in "Police Academy 3: Back in Training ". Image Credit ... Carol Rosegg / Everett Collection
But Mr. Metrano 's career was interrupted one September day in 1989. He and his wife at the time had put a house up for sale and he stopped to check before a realtor visit. They had done some work on the pool, and he noticed that as a result there was gray cement sprayed all over the back walls and balcony. He decided to douse the grime.
"I grabbed the ladder that was leaning against the wall and leaned it firmly against the balcony, ”he wrote in a memoir, " Twice Blessed "(with Cynthia Lee, 1994, later renamed " Metrano 's Accidental Comedy ").
Something went wrong, and Mr. Metrano fell from the ladder, hitting the ground headfirst and breaking theneck. He couldn't move. He was lying there, imagining the scene if he was still lying there when the real estate agent showed up.
"I looked up and I said, “Hello, I'm the owner,” he writes in his book. " I just broke my neck, but don't worry. The house looks great, eh? Nice gourmet kitchen! "
The humor was characteristic of the way he later told the story on paper and on stage (a neighbor ended up coming to his aid before the real estate agent arrived), but the injury was serious. He had broken several vertebrae, and permanent paralysis was a possibility.
"When you lie paralyzed in a hospital bed," he said during the show, "your past becomes your constant companion because e your future is a question mark.
At first he could neither move nor speak, but he was finally able to speak again, and walk, sometimes with the help of a crutch. A few years later he recounted his story in a one-man show written with Ms. Lee that was performed, under
When he performed in Manhattan in 1996 at Union Square Theater under the title " The Amazing Metrano : An Accidental Comedy ", Vincent Canby, in Hfrance.fr, said that Mr. Metrano "gives new meaning to the term comedy stand -up: it 's not the comedy that surprises, but the fact that Mr. Metrano gets up. is therapeutic and inspiring theater, ”wrote Canby. "Sir. Metrono is now working publicly through his trauma, finding resources within himself that he never knew he possessed.
Arthur Mesistrano was born September 22, 1936 in Brooklyn and grew up in the Bensonhurst section of that borough. His father, Aaron, worked in the garment industry and his mother, Rebecca (Russo) Mesistrano, was a housewife.
He played football at Lafayette High School in Brooklyn and attended College of the Pacific in California on a football scholarship, but left college to return to New York City to study acting and work on his stand-up comedy. He moved to Los Angeles to become an actor in 1958.
In his book, he recounted trying to find his way into show business by accepting a phone salesperson job. system allowing busy people to dial abbreviated numbers; which took him to studio lots.
"That was the plan," he wrote, "to sell the productt, earn money, meet producers and directors, then show them my glossy, bogus 8x10 CV.
This seemed to work, because in 1960 he was getting small roles. In 1971, he landed a leading role on a CBS sitcom, "The Chicago Teddy Bears ", though the series was short-lived. He got another starring role on a 1986 sitcom, "Tough Cookies ", but that show didn't last either. Image Mr. Metrano in a photo with actor Craig T. Nelson in 2001. Mr. Metrano was a guest star in the CBS crime drama "The District", starring Mr. Nelson. Credit. .. Tony Esparza / CBS
After his accident, he continued to get occasional television roles, including in " LA Law ", " The District "and " Party of Five. "
Mr. Metrano married Rebecca Chute in 1972; they
In 1977, Mr. Metrano had contacted a son he fathered younger but who had been given up for adoption. This son, Howard Bald, now rabbi, celebrated a memorial service for him this weekend in Florida.