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Frank Puglia Biography

  • Profession: Actor
  • Born: Jan 1, 1892
  • Died: Oct 25, 1975

Sicilian actor Frank Puglia started his career with a travelling operetta company at age 13. He and his family moved to the US in 1907, where he worked in a laundry until he hooked up with an Italian-language theatrical troupe based in New York. In 1921, Puglia was appearing as Pierre Frochard in a revival of the old theatrical warhorse The Two Orphans when he was spotted by film director [[Performer~P92597~D.W. Griffith~dwgriffith]]. Puglia was hired to repeat his role for [[Performer~P224550~Griffith~jimgriffith]]'s film version of the play, retitled [[Feature~V36681~Orphans of the Storm~orphansofthestorm]]; while Pierre Frochard was slated to die at the end of the film, preview-audience reaction to the death was so negative that [[Performer~P224550~Griffith~jimgriffith]] called Puglia back to reshoot his final scenes, allowing him to survive for the fade-out. For the rest of his long film career, Puglia essayed a wide variety of ethnic supporting parts, portraying priests, musicians, diplomats and street peddlers. In 1942's [[Feature~V8482~Casablanca~casablanca]], Puglia has a memorable bit as a Morroccan rug merchant who automatically marks down his prices to any friends of Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart). Frank Puglia played a larger and less likable role as a treacherous minion to sultan Kurt Katch in [[Feature~V1459~Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves~alibabaandthefortythieves]] (1944); when the film was remade as [[Feature~V112507~Sword of Ali Baba~theswordofalibaba]] in 1965, so much stock footage from the 1944 film was utilized that Puglia was hired to replay his original part. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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