Tom Pedi - Rotten Tomatoes

Tom Pedi

Lowest Rated:   38% St. Ives (1976)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   Not Available
Rotund, rough-hewn character actor Tom Pedi enjoyed a 50-year career that took him from touring shows in the late '30s into the original productions of some of the most renowned plays of the 1940s and '50s, and, finally, into top sitcoms and feature films in the 1970s. Born in Brooklyn, NY, in 1913, he was bitten by the acting bug at age five, when he played an angel in a Passion play. His older brothers were involved in local theatrical productions within the Italian community, and he spent a lot of his time with them, soaking up what he could as a boy. After completing high school, in the depths of the Great Depression, Pedi worked at various jobs while trying to break into professional theater. His first role came during the late '30s, in the touring company of Pins and Needles, impersonating Mussolini, a role to which he was so well-suited physically that one Canadian critic remarked that he could have sworn the Italian fascist leader was actually present. Pedi's professional career's start coincided with the gradual end of the Great Depression, at a point when theater was energized by a great many leftist political sensibilities -- he had the good luck early on to cross paths with performers and creative figures whose influence would be lost during the Red Scare of the subsequent decade. Pedi made his New York stage debut in 1941 portraying The Dasher (a businessman) in the play Brooklyn USA, co-authored by John Bright and co-produced by Lionel Stander, both future blacklistees; that cast also featured a young Sidney Lumet in an acting role. Pedi got to appear in one more production, Johnny Doodle (1942), and made his screen debut in the left-of-center film Native Land (1942) -- alongside future blacklistees Paul Robeson and Howard Da Silva, and authored by future blacklisted screenwriter Ben Maddow -- before the onset of the Second World War resulted in his being drafted. Pedi served in the infantry in North Africa, the invasions of Sicily and in the Salerno landings, and the invasion of Southern France, and was part of the army that crossed the Rhine into Germany, earning a string of decorations along the way. Following his discharge, he returned to New York, and over the next eight years worked in an enviable string of original productions, portraying Rocky Pioggi in The Iceman Cometh (1946-1947), Stanley in Death of a Salesman (1949-1950), and the dice-wielding Harry the Horse in Guys and Dolls (1950-1953). He got good notices for all of them, especially the last, and was well-established on the New York stage by then. In between stage performances, Pedi had managed to resume his screen career, working in a handful of movies, including Jules Dassin's Naked City (1948), in which he played a detective; Frank Capra's State of the Union (1948), playing a barber; and Robert Siodmak's Criss Cross (1949), portraying a hood. Pedi's husky build and rough features made him equally suitable portraying cops or criminals, although he also worked in lighter fare such as the Deanna Durbin vehicle Up in Central Park and had a big role in the Bob Hope race-track comedy Sorrowful Jones. Pedi also had a co-starring role in a short-lived television series called Stage Door (1950), working with Louise Allbritton and Scott McKay. It was theater that kept him busy for most of the decade, however -- Pedi probably could have done more movies, but his separation from his wife and his desire to have custody of his son, Alex, for part of each week made it necessary for him to base his career in New York for most of the 1950s and '60s. Pedi worked in such stage productions as New York's City Center revival of Kiss Me, Kate, starring Kitty Carlisle, in which he played one of the gangsters; Arthur Miller's A View From the Bridge (1955-1956); and the comedy A Hole in the Head (1957), interspersed with occasional performances on anthology shows such as Chevrolet Tele-Theatre and Philco Television Playhouse

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
No Score Yet Laguna Heat
  • Jimmy Hylkama
1987
No Score Yet Little Miss Marker
  • Vittorio
1980
75% The North Avenue Irregulars
  • Bartender
1979
No Score Yet The Cat from Outer Space
  • Honest Harry
1978
No Score Yet One Man Jury
  • Angie
1978
No Score Yet Black Market Baby
  • Uncle Sanchi
1977
38% St. Ives
  • Fat Angie Polaterra
1976
100% The Taking of Pelham One Two Three
  • Caz Dolowicz
1974
88% The Iceman Cometh
  • Rocky Pioggi
1973
No Score Yet Eugene O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh
  • Actor
1960
No Score Yet Sorrowful Jones
  • Once-Over Sam
1949
100% Criss Cross
  • Vincent
1949
No Score Yet Up in Central Park
  • O'Toole
1948
No Score Yet State of the Union
  • Barber
1948
86% The Naked City
  • Det. Perelli
1948
No Score Yet Native Land
  • Member
1942

Quotes from Tom Pedi's Characters

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