Joseph Campanella Dies: TV & Film Actor With 200 Credits Over Six Decades Was 92


Joseph Campanella, a prolific character actor whose career on the big and small screens spanned more than a half-century, died today at his home in Sherman Oaks, CA. He was 92.

Among his nearly 200 credits were a regular in the role in first season of the 1967-75 CBS cop drama Mannix, for which he earned an Emmy nom, and a Daytime Emmy-nominated late-’80s/early-’90s role as Harper Deveraux in the long-running NBC soap Days of Our Lives (right). He also appeared as Jonathan Young in nearly 100 episodes of CBS’ soap The Bold and the Beautiful from 1996-2005.

With a face known to most fans of TV from the latter half of the 20th century, Campanella started his career in 1950s television, guesting on such classic series of that decade and the next as Suspense, Route 66, The Big Valley, The Wild Wild West, The Fugitive and Mission: Impossible. After his Mannix stint in 1967-68, he continued to work mostly in TV into the 1970s, appearing on Night Gallery, Gunsmoke, Marcus Welby, M.D., and many others. He also co-starred in the rat-infested 1972 cult classic film Ben and narrated the star-studded 1978 miniseries Pearl.

The New York City native rode the 1970s TV movie throughout that decade, including The President’s Plane Is Missing and, amid the disaster-movie crush, Skyway to Death (below left). He also found guest roles on such popular series as Ironside, McCloud, Medical Center, Police Woman, The Rockford Files and — like seemingly every other TV actor of the era — Fantasy Island. In 1976, he began a sporadic but long-spanning stint as a recurring on Norman Lear’s One Day at a Time.

The younger brother of the late actor Frank Campanella, he found more TV work throughout the ’80s on series including Quincy, M.E., Hotel, Murder, She Wrote, Dallas, Mama’s Family and a recurring role on the Charlton Heston-led Dynasty spinoff The Colbys.

Campanella had dozens more roles in the ’90s and into the next century, finding a new vocation along the way: voice acting. He worked on a couple of superhero toons in the mid-’90s before landing a regular role on the 1996-76 series Road Rovers. He also lent his voice to more than 20 episodes of Spider-Man.

In the late ’90s and 2000s, Campanella appeared in nearly a dozen episodes of the CBS family dramedy That’s Life and recurred on The Practice. His final credit was the 2009 movie Lost Dream.

Campanella also appeared in three short-lived Broadway shows in the early 1960s.

He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Jill; their eight children and seven grandchildren.

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