Frank Puglia

Francesco Giuseppe "Frank" Puglia (9 March 1892 – 25 October 1975) was an Italian film actor. Puglia had small, but memorable roles in films including Casablanca (a Moroccan rug merchant), Now, Voyager and The Jungle Book.

Frank Puglia
Frank Puglia in Orphans of the Storm (1921)
Francesco Giuseppe Puglia

(1892-03-09)9 March 1892
Died25 October 1975(1975-10-25) (aged 83)
Years active19211975
Spouse(s)Irene Veneroni
(m. 19??; died 1973)


Born in Linguaglossa, Catania, Sicily, the actor started his career as a teen on stage in Italian operas.[1] He emigrated to the U.S. in 1907. He left from Naples on the ship Italia.

In New York City he worked in a laundry before joining an Italian language theater group. While appearing on stage, he was discovered by D. W. Griffith, which began an acting career spanning over 150 films.[2] He usually played ethnic types in films, and claimed to have learned English from reading newspapers.

He was originally cast as the undertaker, Bonasera, in Francis Ford Coppola's movie The Godfather (1972), even participating in Marlon Brando's screen test, but he fell ill before filming could begin. He was replaced by Sicilian actor Salvatore Corsitto.[3]

He died on October 25, 1975 in South Pasadena, California, and he is buried in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Hollywood, California.[4][5]

On August 10, 2016, he was celebrated in his hometown, Linguaglossa.

Selected filmography


  1. "Overview for Frank Puglia". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 2019-02-16.
  2. "Frank Puglia". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2019-02-16.
  3. Lebo, Harlan (2005) [1997]. The Godfather Legacy: The Untold Story of the Making of the Classic Godfather Trilogy Featuring Never-Before-Published Production Stills. New York: Simon and Schuster. pp. 87, 129. ISBN 9780743287777.
  4. "Frank Puglia, 83, Actor Of Stage, Screen and TV". The New York Times. 1975-11-21. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-02-16.
  5. "Frank Puglia (1892 - 1975)". Find a Grave. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
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