Paul Comi

Paul Domingo Comi (February 11, 1932 – August 26, 2016)[1][2][3] was an American film and television actor.

Paul Comi
Comi in 2007
Paul Domingo Comi

February 11, 1932
DiedAugust 26, 2016 (aged 84)
Alma materUniversity of Southern California
Years active1958–1995
Spouse(s)Eva Comi


Paul Comi was born 1932 in Brookline, Massachusetts.[4] Comi grew up in North Quincy, Massachusetts and joined the United States Army after graduation in 1949. He is a three purple heart veteran of Korea (1950–1951)[5] and after his release from the hospital in Japan was assigned to Kyoto, where he booked talent and wrote skits for the NCO and Officer's club. After his discharge in 1952, he went to California where he attended El Camino Jr. College and was elected Student Body President for two terms.

Awarded a scholarship to USC School of Dramatic Arts[6][7] at the University of Southern California, he graduated in 1958 Magna Cum Laude with membership in Tau Kappa Epsilon, Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi and Blue Key honors.[8][9]

He and his wife Eva had three children. As an apprentice at the La Jolla Playhouse the summer of 1957. 20th Century Fox picked him up and cast him as Pvt Abbott in The Young Lions with Marlon Brando and Montgomery Clift; he would act for four more decades.[10]

Comi died on August 26, 2016 in Pasadena, California at the age of 84.[11]

Acting career

Comi's acting career spanned four decades, from the mid-1950s through the mid-1990s. He made over three hundred television appearances, twenty movies, and a number of recurring television roles. These included Deputy Johnny Evans in the syndicated western series Two Faces West (1960–61), starring Charles Bateman, the part of Brad Carter, prosecuting attorney in The Virginian while Lee J. Cobb was in the cast. He was cast along with others, including Bruce Dern and Joby Baker, who were all part of Paul Burke's crew in Burke's initial introduction, on 12 O'Clock High.[12]

Comi's professional acting career began in 1957, when, as an apprentice at the La Jolla Playhouse, he was given a small part in the play Career that starred Don Taylor and Una Merkel.[13] His comedy scene as a drunken GI earned rave reviews in The Hollywood Reporter and Variety, leading to his being signed by 20th Century Fox for the role of Pvt. Abbott in The Young Lions with Montgomery Clift and Dean Martin. At Fox, he appeared in several films: In Love and War with Jeffrey Hunter and Robert Wagner; A Private's Affair with Ernie Kovacs; and was lent out to Warner Bros. for the role of "Jenkins" in the Michael Garrison production of The Dark at the Top of the Stairs with Robert Preston and Dorothy McGuire. He also played Lt Tim, Steve McQueen's assistant in The Towering Inferno.[14]

In 1960, Comi appeared in The Twilight Zone episode "People Are Alike All Over", as Warren Marcusson.[15] Between 1961 and 1962, he portrayed airplane pilot Chuck Lambert on the first-run syndicated television adventure series Ripcord about skydiving and was a regular on the Western series Rawhide. He also played Victor Markham for one and one half seasons on the daytime soap Capitol, followed by two seasons as George Durnley in General Hospital. Besides, he had two guest appearances on Voyage to the Bottom Of The Sea in the episodes "Submarine Sunk Here" and "Deadly Creature Below!"[16]

Comi played navigator Lt. Andrew Stiles for the Star Trek episode "Balance of Terror" (1966). When the enemy Romulans are revealed to resemble the Vulcans, Lt. Stiles becomes suspicious of the motives of first officer Mr. Spock. Comi also appeared in Barnaby Jones in the episode titled "Dangerous Summer" (02/11/1975).


Comi was a voting member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Business interests

He was President of Caffe D'Amore Inc. a coffee company started by his wife, Eva, the creator of the world's first flavored instant cappuccino, Caffe D'Amore.[18]

Partial filmography

Awards and decorations

  •   Purple Heart (A 3 Purple Heart Veteran of the Korean War)
  • Phi Beta Kappa USC 1958, Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society USC 1958, Blue Key Honors USC 1958

See also


  1. "Paul Comi obituary". Retrieved 2016-10-13.
  4. Paul Comi, character actor – obituary, 12, October 2016
  5. Uzal W. Ent: Fighting on the Brink – Defense of the Pusan Perimeter; S. 337–339, Turner, 1997, ISBN 563112094-1
  6. Daily Trojan, Vol. 49, No. 44, Stop-Gap To Present Brick and the Rose, S. 1, November 22, 1957, University of Southern California, Online-Version
  7. Daily Trojan, Vol. 59, No. 61, Stop Gap hosts run of After the Fall, S. 1, January 8, 1968, University of Southern California, Online-Version
  8. USC School of Dramatic Arts, records 5287, USC Libraries Special Collections, Alumni 1957–2006, Scope and Content, Clippings and promotional materials regarding notable alumni of the School of Dramatic Arts, Paul Comi 1957–1978, Box 1, Folder 13, Box 10, Folder 16, Online Archive of California
  9. Distinguished Alumni, Beta-Sigma’s Own, July 9, 2016.
  10. Internet Movie Database, The Young Lions,; accessed July 31, 2016.
  11. "Paul Comi". The Quincy Sun. September 12, 2016. Archived from the original on September 25, 2016.
  12. Twelve O'Clock High on IMDb
  13. La Jolla Playhouse, Production History (1959–1947), Career, Written by James Le, Performance Dates: August 6–18, 1957, July 9, 2016.
  14. Paul Comi
  15. Stewart Stanyard: Dimensions Behind the Twilight Zone – A Backstage Tribute to Television's, Paul Comi, S. 190, ECW Press, 2007, ISBN 1550227440
  16. Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea on IMDb
  17. Clark, Mark (2012). "Outmaneuvering the Romulans". Star Trek FAQ. Applause Theatre & Cinema. ISBN 9781557839633.
  18. Cal Orey: The Healing Powers of Chocolate, S. 130, Kensington, 2010; ISBN 0758238207
  19. Internet Movie Database, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes
  20. Internet Movie Database, Leap of Faith

Demteria Fulton previewed Comi in Barnaby Jones; episode titled "Dangerous Summer" (02/11/1975).

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