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Joseph Campanella (November 21, 1924 - May 16, 2018) was an American character actor who appeared in more than two hundred television and film roles since 1955. Some of his most known films and television roles include Guiding Light, Mannix, The Bold Ones: The Lawyers, Days of Our Lives, and Ben.


Early life

Campanella's father was an immigrant from Sicily, who was an early member of the American Federation of Musicians. On November 21, 1924, Joseph Campanella was born. He and his brothers grew up speaking Italian before they learned to speak English. Joseph Campanella's family was Roman Catholic.

Joseph Campanella was the younger brother of Frank Campanella, a character actor, who died in December 2006.

During World War II, Cempanella served in the military, becoming one of it's youngest commanders. He later graduated from Manhattan College in 1948, and later attended Columbia University, where he studied drama.


His television appearances include such shows as Decoy, The Eleventh Hour, The Fugitive, Mission: Impossible (co-starring with Martin Landau), Gunsmoake, The Big Valley, Alias Smith and Jones, The Untouchables, Police Story, The Road West, The Invaders, The F.B.I (co-starring with Efrem Zimbalist Jr. and Philip Abbott), The Mary Tyler Moore Show (co-starring with Ed Asner), The Golden Girls (co-starring with Rue McClanahan), and Mama's Family.

He had a recurring role from 1859 to 1962 as a criminal named Joe Turino on the long-running CBS daytime drama The Guiding Light. He had a role in 1967 as Len Wickersham in the television series Mannix as Joe Mannis's boss and friend, before the P.I. went solo and started his own firm. Campanella appeared as attorney Brian Darrell from 1969 to 1972 in The Bold Ones: The Lawyers. Campanella played Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Captain Monty Ballard in the crime drama TV movie "Sky Heist" in 1975. He played Ann Romano's ex-husband, Ed Cooper in eight episodes of One Day at a Time (1975 - 1984) and Barbara Stanwyck's love interest in the first season (1985 - 1986) of Aaron Spelling's short-lived Dynasty spin-off, The Colbys. He also appeared in a second season episode of the The Golden girls as a detective. The actor had a prominent role as Harper Deveraux on the soap opera Days of Our Lives from 1987 to 1988 and from 1990 to 1992, and a recurring role on The Bold and the Beautiful from 1996 to 2005.

Campanella hosted the Canadian educational program Science International between 1976 and 1979 which aired on Nickelodeon as What Will They Think Of Next? He appeared in the independent comedy, For Heaven's Sake.

On Broadway, Campanella was featured in three productions. His first The Captains and the Kings opened in January 1962 and lasted only seven performances. In February 1962, he was cast in A Gift of Time with Henry Fonda and Olivia de Havilland. The show was written and directed by Garson Kanin and Campanella received a Tony nomination as Best Featured Actor in a Play. His last Broadway performance was in the musical Hot Spot in 1963. The show was not well-received and delayed it's opening four times resulting in a run of 58 previews and 43 regular performances.

Campanella formerly provided the voice-over for BMW commercials in the United States, intoning, "BMW. . . the ultimate driving machine." He also narrated the Discovery Magazine science series on the Disney Channel from 1992 - 1994. For several years beginning in the 1970's Campanella was a spokesman for Napa Auto Parts.

His distinctive voice has been heard often in the narration of numerous documentaries.

Campanella retired from acting in 2009.

Personal life

Campanella met his wife Kathryn Jill Bartholomew, a singer and dancer, in 1963 while he was playing the leading man for Hot Spot in Broadway. They married on May 30, 1964, and had seven sons: Philip (born 1965), Robert Yale (born 1966), Joseph Anthony Jr. (born 1967), Dominic Peter (born 1969), Anthony F. (born 1974), John Mario (born 1977), and Andrew Michael (born 1979).


Joseph Campanella died at the age of 93 on May 16, 2018, at his home in Sherman Oaks, California.




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