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Chick Vennera Dies Thank God It Friday39; The Golden Girls39; Actor

Chick Vennera  Dies Thank God It  Friday39; The Golden Girls39; Actor

Chick Vennera Dies Thank God It Friday39; The Golden Girls39; Actor

Chick Vennera, 'Golden Girls' and 'Animaniacs' actor, dead at 74 Fri, 09 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700-Chick Vennera, an actor perhaps most recognizable for his scene-stealing disco dance in Thank God It's Friday, died from cancer yesterday.

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Chick Vennera Dies: ‘Thank God It’s Friday’, ‘The Golden Girls’ Actor Was 74

July 08, 2021

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Chick Vennera, 'Thank God It's Friday' (1978) Everett Collection

Chick Vennera, a prolific actor and voice actor perhaps most recognizable for his scene-stealing disco dance performance atop parked cars in the 1978 hit comedy Thank God It’s Friday, died from cancer yesterday at his home in Burbank.

Vennera, who voiced characters for Animaniacs and Batman Beyond, among many other series, and appeared during the late 1980s in the recurring role of Enrique on the NBC sitcom The Golden Girls, was 74. His death was confirmed by his daughter Nicky Vennera.

Born Francis Vennera in Herkimer, New York, the actor known professionally as Chick Vennera moved to California after high school, studying at the Pasadena Playhouse. After a stint in the Army, Vennera returned to the West Coast to perform musically in nightclubs and, for two years, as a singer and dancer in the Disney on Parade tour. He also toured in the national company of Grease as well as performing a stint in the musical on Broadway during the early 1970s.

Vennera began a long and busy TV career with appearances in 1975 on the dramas Lucas Tanner and Baretta. He recurred the following year on the miniseries Arthur Hailey’s the Moneychangers and Once an Eagle.

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Betty White, Chick Vennera, ‘The Golden Girls’ Everett Collection

The actor garnered significant attention for his performance as Marv Gomez, a disco devotee clad in a head-to-toe brown leather leisure suit in the comedy Thank God It’s Friday starring Donna Summer. In his most memorable scene, a stoned Gomez climbs atop parked cars outside the disco and performs an athletic, cartwheeling dance routine to the delight of onlookers. “Dancing!,” he proclaims after falling through the roof of one car. “Everything else is bullsh*t!”

Subsequent credits would include a recurring role in the 1978-81 Robert Urich drama series Vega$, as well as appearances in such series as T.J. Hooker, Diff’rent Strokes and Night Court. In 1979 he was featured in the John Schlesinger film Yanks starring Richard Gere.

In 1988, he was cast in a significant role in Robert Redford’s Milagro Beanfield War, and the following year returned to television with two roles in The Golden Girls, the first as a boxer and the second, in a two-episode arc, as an egotistical reporter named Enrique Mas.

Vennera had a prolific career in the 1990s as a voice actor, working on animated series including Capitol Critters, Batman: The Animated Series, The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest, Animaniacs and Pinky and the Brain.

He also founded and taught at Los Angeles’ Renegade Theatre and Film Group.

In addition to his daughter, Vennera is survived by his wife Suzanne Vennera.

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Chick Vennera, 'Thank God It's Friday' (1978) Everett Collection

Chick Vennera, a prolific actor and voice actor perhaps most recognizable for his scene-stealing disco dance performance atop parked cars in the 1978 hit comedy Thank God It’s Friday, died from cancer yesterday at his home in Burbank.

Vennera, who voiced characters for Animaniacs and Batman Beyond, among many other series, and appeared during the late 1980s in the recurring role of Enrique on the NBC sitcom The Golden Girls, was 74. His death was confirmed by his daughter Nicky Vennera.

Born Francis Vennera in Herkimer, New York, the actor known professionally as Chick Vennera moved to California after high school, studying at the Pasadena Playhouse. After a stint in the Army, Vennera returned to the West Coast to perform musically in nightclubs and, for two years, as a singer and dancer in the Disney on Parade tour. He also toured in the national company of Grease as well as performing a stint in the musical on Broadway during the early 1970s.

Vennera began a long and busy TV career with appearances in 1975 on the dramas Lucas Tanner and Baretta. He recurred the following year on the miniseries Arthur Hailey’s the Moneychangers and Once an Eagle.

image
Betty White, Chick Vennera, ‘The Golden Girls’ Everett Collection

The actor garnered significant attention for his performance as Marv Gomez, a disco devotee clad in a head-to-toe brown leather leisure suit in the comedy Thank God It’s Friday starring Donna Summer. In his most memorable scene, a stoned Gomez climbs atop parked cars outside the disco and performs an athletic, cartwheeling dance routine to the delight of onlookers. “Dancing!,” he proclaims after falling through the roof of one car. “Everything else is bullsh*t!”

Subsequent credits would include a recurring role in the 1978-81 Robert Urich drama series Vega$, as well as appearances in such series as T.J. Hooker, Diff’rent Strokes and Night Court. In 1979 he was featured in the John Schlesinger film Yanks starring Richard Gere.

In 1988, he was cast in a significant role in Robert Redford’s Milagro Beanfield War, and the following year returned to television with two roles in The Golden Girls, the first as a boxer and the second, in a two-episode arc, as an egotistical reporter named Enrique Mas.

Vennera had a prolific career in the 1990s as a voice actor, working on animated series including Capitol Critters, Batman: The Animated Series, The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest, Animaniacs and Pinky and the Brain.

He also founded and taught at Los Angeles’ Renegade Theatre and Film Group.

In addition to his daughter, Vennera is survived by his wife Suzanne Vennera.

Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.


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Chick Vennera Dies: 'Thank God It's Friday', 'The Golden Girls' Actor … Fri, 09 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700-"Animaniacs" and "Golden Girls" actor Chick Vennera has died at the age of 74.

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Chick Vennera, ‘Golden Girls’ and ‘Animaniacs’ actor, dead at 74

July 08, 2021

Chick Vennera, an actor known for his roles in “The Golden Girls” and more, has died at the age of 74.

The star died from lung cancer on Wednesday in his Burbank, Calif. home, his daughter confirmed to Fox News.

Vennera appeared in three episodes of “Golden Girls,” playing a man named Pepe in a season four episode before appearing as Enrique Mas in a pair of season five episodes.

Additionally, he was known for voicing multiple characters in the “Animaniacs” cartoon and movies, frequently playing a character called Pesto in a number of projects.

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In 1978, he appeared in “Thank God It’s Friday” alongside Donna Summer and memorably dances on top of cars in a parking lot.

Chick Vennera has died at the age of 74 after battling cancer. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Vennera was born Francis Vennera in Herkimer, New York, Deadline reports, and moved to California after high school. He studied at the famed Pasadena Playhouse before briefly joining the army.

The outlet reports that the star performed in nightclubs when he returned to the West Coast and sang and danced in the Disney on Parade tour.

Outside of Hollywood, he also starred in a touring Broadway production of “Grease” as Doody.

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His credits began in 1975 will appearances on “Lucas Tanner,” “Baretta” and “The Blue Knight” just a few years before starring in “Thank God It’s Friday” as disco fan as Marv Gomez.

“Dancing!” he said after falling through the roof of a car during the movie's memorable dance scene. “Everything else is bullsh–!”

Vennera's additional television credits included appearances in high-profile shows like “Night Court,” “Mad About You,” “JAG” and a number of animated “Batman” projects.

Chick Vennera in ‘Golden Girls.’  (Photo by Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Photo Archives/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images)

The actor also appeared in a number of famous movies including “Milagro Beanfield War” and “Yanks.”

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His final credit, per IMDb, was a 2009 video game called “Bayonetta.”

Additionally, Vennera is responsible for founding Los Angeles’ Renegade Theatre and Film Group, where he also taught.

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The actor is survived by his daughter Victoria and wife Suzanne.


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– July 9, 2021

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