Vito Scotti (January 26, 1918 – June 5, 1996) was a veteran character actor who played many roles, primarily from the late 1940s to the mid-1990s. He was known as a man of a thousand faces, for his ability to assume so many divergent roles in more than 200 screen roles, in a nearly 50 year career. He was known for his resourceful portrayals of various ethnic types. Born of Italian heritage, he was seen playing everything from a Mexican bandit, and Russian doctor, to a Japanese sailor.
In the next few years, after a dozen screen roles, by 1953, Scotti replaced J. Carroll Naish as 'Luigi Basco', an Italian Immigrant who ran a Chicago antique store, on the television version of the radio show Life with Luigi. Five years later he portrayed another ethnic character, 'Rama from India' (among other characters) in the live-action segment in "Gunga Ram" on the Andy Devine children's show, "Andy's Gang". In the mid-1950s, Scotti played the antagonist against Froggy the Gremlin on Andy's Gang.
Personal life and death
In addition to his accomplishments as an actor, he was highly regarded as a chef. Vito loved cooking, especially the recipes of his beloved mother and grandmother. Two generations of Hollywood's top names always left his dinner parties raving about the food and wine. He was married for many years, to Irene A. Scozzari, until her death at 54, in April 15, 1979. Scotti remarried a woman named Beverly, and they were married until his death. Scotti was a dedicated fundraiser for the 'Carmen Fund,' set up by the Joaquin Miller High School Parents Guild, to assist the school's special-needs students, in obtaining medical treatment. The fund was named for the Scottis' daughter, one of the first patients to undergo pioneering spinal implant surgery.
Hollywood Forever Cemetery, along with his wife Irene, in the Abbey of Psalms Mausoleum, Corridor of light, G-4, crypt 1253. Vito Scotti was survived by his daughter Carmen Scozzari (who today works for LAUSD as a Special Education Assistant in the West San Fernando Valley), his son Ricardo, a brother Jerry, and his widow Beverly.
1.^ Scotti's biography on the Froggy the Gremlin website.
2.^ Vito Scotti at the Internet Movie database