Vic Tayback - Rotten Tomatoes

Vic Tayback



Born to a Syrian-Lebanese family in Brooklyn, Victor Tayback grew up learning how to aggressively defend himself and those he cared about, qualities that he'd later carry over into his acting work. Moving to California with his family, the 16-year-old Tayback made the varsity football team at Burbank High. Despite numerous injuries, he continued his gridiron activities at Glendale Community College, until he quit school over a matter of principle (he refused to apologize to his coach for breaking curfew). After four years in the navy, Tayback enrolled at the Frederick A. Speare School of Radio and TV Broadcasting, hoping to become a sportscaster. Instead, he was sidetracked into acting, working as a cab driver, bank teller and even a "Kelly Girl" between performing gigs. Shortly after forming a little-theatre group called the Company of Angels, Tayback made his movie debut in Door-to-Door Maniac (1961), a fact he tended to exclude from his resumé in later years. His professional life began to improve in 1967, when he won an audition to play Sid Caesar's look-alike in a TV pilot. Throughout the early 1970s the bulging, bald-domed actor made a comfortable living in TV commercials and TV guest-star assignments, and as a regular on the detective series Griff (1973) and Khan (1975). In 1975, he was cast in the secondary role of Mel Sharples, the potty-mouthed short-fused owner of a greasy spoon diner, in the theatrical feature Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore. When the film evolved into the weekly TV sitcom Alice in 1976, Tayback was engaged to recreate his "Mel" characterization. He remained with the program for the next nine years. In contrast to his gruff, abusive screen character, Tayback was dearly loved by the rest of the Alice cast, who regarded him a Big Brother and Father Confessor rolled into one. Five years after Alice's cancellation, Vic Tayback died of cancer at the age of 61; one of his last screen assignments was the voice of Carface in the animated feature All Dogs Go to Heaven.

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet Tunnels
  • Actor
1998
No Score Yet The Horseplayer
  • George
1991
No Score Yet Beverly Hills Bodysnatchers
  • Lou
1989
44% Loverboy
  • Harry Bruckner
1989
50% All Dogs Go To Heaven
  • Carface
1989
No Score Yet The Butcher
  • Actor
1988
No Score Yet Criminal Act
  • Actor
1988
No Score Yet The Underachievers
  • Coach
1988
No Score Yet Weekend Warriors
  • Sgt. Burdge
1986
No Score Yet George Carlin - Playin' With Your Head
  • Actor
1986
No Score Yet L'Ile Au Trésor
  • Silver
1985
No Score Yet The Jesse Owens Story
  • Saperstein
1984
No Score Yet Mysterious Two
  • Actor
1982
No Score Yet Rage!
  • Actor
1980
No Score Yet Great American Traffic Jam
  • Actor
1980
No Score Yet The Night the City Screamed
  • Actor
1980
No Score Yet Portrait of a Stripper
  • Actor
1979
50% The Cheap Detective
  • Lt. DiMaggio
1978
50% The Choirboys
  • Pete Zoony
1977
No Score Yet Little Ladies of the Night
  • Actor
1977
50% The Shaggy D.A.
  • Eddie Roschak
1976
No Score Yet Mansion of the Doomed
  • Detective
1976
78% The Big Bus
  • Goldie
1976
No Score Yet No Deposit, No Return
  • Big Joe
1976
No Score Yet Dark Victory
  • Archie
1976
No Score Yet Special Delivery
  • Wyatt
1976
25% The Black Bird
  • Warren Finley
1975
No Score Yet Report to the Commissioner
  • Lt. Seidensticker
1975
No Score Yet Lepke
  • Lucky Luciano
1975
87% Thunderbolt and Lightfoot
  • Mario
1974
86% The Gambler
  • One
1974
88% Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore
  • Mel
1974
No Score Yet The Don Is Dead
  • Ralph Negri
1973
80% Emperor of the North Pole (Emperor of the North)
  • Yardman
1973
82% Papillon
  • Sergeant
1973
No Score Yet Blood and Lace
  • Calvin Carruthers
1971
No Score Yet They Call It Murder
  • Jeffrey Poland
1971
97% Bullitt
  • Pete Ross
1968
No Score Yet With Six You Get Eggroll
  • Chicken Truck Driver
1968
89% Love with the Proper Stranger
  • Cye
1963
No Score Yet Door-to-Door Maniac
  • Fred Dorella
1961

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT
No Score Yet Star Trek
1966-1969
  • Actor
No Score Yet MacGyver
1985-1992
  • Henderson

Quotes from Vic Tayback's Characters