January 26, 1918
San Francisco, California, United States
June 5, 1996
Woodland Hills, California, United States
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Vito Scotti was born in San Francisco but spent his early years in Italy until moving back to New York with his mother, where she was a performer in the Italian theater. It was there that Scotti learned the farcical comedy and exaggerated mannerisms that would define his long career in supporting roles on both film and television. He began as a magician and pantomime in nightclubs in the 1940s, gradually moving into film and into TV work in that medium's early years. Due to his ethnic heritage he was often typecast in the role of the swarthy foreigner: bandits, waiters, barbers, and other assorted immigrants. His gift for comedy served him well, however, and as his career progressed in the 1960s he began to get meatier roles as comedic foils and exasperated, put-upon side characters on such shows as "The Addams Family," "The Munsters," "Gilligan's Island," "The Andy Griffith Show," "Batman," and, most famously, a recurring gig as Captain Gaspar Fomento on "The Flying Nun." Huge fame always eluded him, but Scotti worked constantly in the film and television industry for over 50 years, appearing in more than 200 productions. His most famous turn was as the baker in Francis Ford Coppola's "The Godfather" in 1972. He was regarded by many in the Hollywood community as a master chef.