Chick Vennera, best known for his multiple roles on The Golden Girls, died of lung cancer on July 7, 2021 at his home in Burbank, California.
Vennera, whose birth name was Francis, was 74 years old.
His career spanned nearly five decades.
Here are three cold hard facts about Chick Vennera.
1. Got His Start In Theatre But Earned Film Credits Also
Vennera was a native New Yorker.
He moved to California after high school to pursue an acting career.
Vennera got the role of Doody on the national touring production of Grease.
He later landed a role in Grease on Broadway.
In 1978, he stole the show as Marv Gomez aka the Leatherman in the epic disco dancing scene in the film Thank God It’s Friday which also starred Donna Summer.
2. Appeared On Three Episodes of The Golden Girls
Just realized while watching Then Golden Girls, "Pepe the boxer" and "Enrique Mas" were played by the same actor. pic.twitter.com/I9NxaHx9wA
— Gilberto González🐾 (@gilport) June 20, 2013
Due to his popularity on the show, Vennera played two different roles on the hit series.
In the fourth season, he appeared in one episode as Kid Pepe, the Cuban boxer.
He returned in the fifth season as Enrique Mas, a news reporter whom Rose worked for, in two episodes.
‘The Golden Girls’ actor Chick Vennera dead at 74. He had a recurring role as Enrique/Pepe in NBC’s iconic sitcom “The Golden Girls.”
— Whitney Devlin (@whitneydevlin) July 8, 2021
Vennera was not the only guest star of the series to appear in different roles; it was a repeated occurrence on the show.
Most notably, Harold Gould of Rhoda fame played two roles, Arnie Peterson and Miles Weber.
3. His Voice Was Legendary
RIP Chick Vennera. He was a tremendous talent- condolences to his friends, family, and colleagues. https://t.co/cuKK9QVEHF
— Joanna Davidovich (@JoTheZette) July 8, 2021
While Vennera did appear in films and other television roles, it was his voice that spanned the test of time.
To begin with, he was the vocal double for Joe Pesci.
Then, he lent his vocal talents to animated series like The Jetsons and video games including Zork: Grand Inquisitor.
His final work in 2009 was as Enzo on the video game Bayonetta.
Chick Vennera is survived by his wife Suzanne and his daughter Nicky.