Arts Express: Screen Wiseguy Robert Loggia Talks Grief, Gangsters And Ravioli

Arts Express: Veteran actor Robert Loggia’s name has been synonymous with nearly every television series, from Charlie’s Angels, Columbo, The Sopranos and Kojak, to Scarface, Big and Prizzi’s Honor on the big screen, to name just a few. In this phone conversation for Arts Express, Loggia talks about his latest role in Harvest; looks back on his life and reflects on what it has meant to be an actor; what his role in Harvest has to do with The Old Man And The Sea; and the experience in the movie Conspiracy: The Trial Of The Chicago 8, of walking in William Kunstler’s formidable shoes.


The distinguished character actor, who has been prone to playing gruff macho when not outright bad guys, but wants to be known for the sensitive stuff too, currently stars as an elderly dying man in Harvest who is not quite ready to give in. Even while caring for his Alzheimers afflicted wife, played by likewise screen legend, Barbara Barrie.

In my conversation with Robert Loggia, he also talks about his bicycle in the movie as a chariot to oblivion, and memorable screen moments like dancing on a piano with Tom Hanks in Big. And how Loggia’s immigrant workingclass roots as the son of a Sicilian shoemaker defined him, and perhaps a generation of actors that may never exist again. Not to mention the immigrant neighborhood experience, and exactly what the commonality of ravioli, wontons and kreplach dumplings may have to do with it. And above all else, thank god for the cue cards.

Prairie Miller is a New York multimedia journalist online, in print and radio, who reviews movies and conducts in-depth interviews. She can also be heard on WBAI/Pacifica National Radio Network’s Arts Express.