‘Ottawa’ SCTV, SNL Actor Tony Rosato Dead at 62
Canadian actor Tony Rosato, a veteran of sketch-comedy shows Saturday Night Live and SCTV, has died at the age of 62.
Rosato’s death was confirmed by his former agent, Larry Goldhar.
He said an autopsy was being done, but it was suspected that Rosato died from an apparent heart attack.
The Italian-born comic actor joined Martin Short and Robin Duke as the only three performers to have been cast members of both Saturday Night Live and SCTV, the classic homegrown comedy show that was spun out of Second City shortly after SNL launched in the mid-1970s.
One of his most memorable SCTV characters was Marcello, a clumsy TV chef whose Cooking with Marcello lessons always ended up in a kitchen disaster.
Rosato told the Sun’s Jim Slotek in a 2001 interview that, “I was proud to be in both camps. Wow! What an education.”
Ironically, Rosato once played John Belushi in an SCTV spoof of Saturday Night Live.
After his SNL stint, Rosato went to L.A. and co-starred on the sitcom Amanda’s with Bea Arthur. Then he came home as a regular on CTV’s Night Heat, and on Diamonds with Nicholas Campbell.
“I took Night Heat immediately, because they allowed me to improvise all my shtick in the context of the show.” He also had a regular role in the Tia Carrere series Relic Hunter, which was shot in Toronto.
“I’d done five TV series, and I still wanted to be a better actor, so I took every bit role in every Canadian movie I saw. You know what a rich path to stardom that is,” he said.
Rosato also had appearances on Due South, Street Legal, L.A. Law, Lonesome Dove, and RoboCop, and the Canadian cable movie Kissinger and Nixon.
Rosato ran into legal trouble in later years. In 2007, he was found guilty of criminally harassing his wife. He was diagnosed with Capgras syndrome, a condition that caused him to believe his wife and young daughter had been replaced by impostors.
Rosato spent nearly four years in custody, with time in jail and confinement in a psychiatric hospital.