Chick Vennera, the prolific actor who appeared on "Golden Girls" and lent his voice to "Animaniacs," has died at age 74 after a battle with cancer.
The star's daughter, Nicky Vennera, confirmed that he died Wednesday at his home in Burbank, according to Deadline. Stephen Spielberg's production company Amblin also shared the news on social media.
"We're saddened to learn that Chick Vennera, who gave vocal wing to Pesto of The Goodfeathers (amongst other characters) in the original run of @TheAnimaniacs, has passed away at 74. Our condolences to Chick's loved ones, friends, and fellow collaborators." the company tweeted.
Vennera developed his skills when studying at the Pasadena Playhouse after high school. He began his career performing musically in clubs as well as in the Disney on Parade tour as a singer and dancer. Then, in 1973, he made the cast of the national touring production of the Broadway musical "Grease." It was not long after that he transitioned into TV with appearances in David Hartman’s "Lucas Tanner" and Robert Blake’s "Baretta." He also landed recurring roles in 1976 on the miniseries "Arthur Hailey’s the Moneychangers," and "Once an Eagle."
One of Vennera’s career-defining moments came in 1978, when he was cast in the hit comedy "Thank God It’s Friday" as disco devotee Marv Gomez. This paved the way for dozens of other roles including appearances in the drama series "Vega$," "T.J. Hooker," "Diff’rent Strokes," and "Night Court." He also appeared alongside Richard Gere in the 1979 film "Yanks" and the 1988 Robert Redford film "Milagro Beanfield War."
Vennera made a return to TV when he appeared in episodes of "The Golden Girls" in two roles — as a boxer and as a reporter named Enrique Mas. In the 1990s, Vennera branched out to become a voice actor, working on various animated series like "Batman: The Animated Series, "The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest," "Animaniacs," and "Pinky and the Brain."
After retiring, Vennera shared his talents as a teacher at the esteemed Beverly Hills Playhouse before founding his own school, The Renegade Theatre Group, in June 2009, according to IMDB. He was the recipient of the Theater World Award, as well as the Golden Eagle Award.
He is survived by his daughter and wife, Suzanne Vennera.
© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.