Robert Loggia, 'Scarface' and 'Big' actor, dies at 85

Fri Dec 4, 2015 7:56pm EST
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By Will Dunham

(Reuters) - Robert Loggia, the gravelly voiced character actor who danced with Tom Hanks on a giant floor keyboard in "Big," fought aliens in "Independence Day" and trafficked in drugs in "Scarface," died on Friday at age 85, his widow said.

Loggia, who was nominated for an Academy Award for his role in the 1985 thriller "Jagged Edge," died at his home in Los Angeles after battling Alzheimer's disease for five years, Audrey O'Brien Loggia told Reuters.

"He loved being an actor - he was a wonderful actor - and loved his profession and his life," she said, adding that he died with her and their two daughters at his side. "We've been together 41 years. He is going be terribly missed."

Loggia had been a journeyman actor on stage, TV and films until he made an impression playing Richard Gere's abusive and alcoholic father in the 1982 blockbuster "An Officer and a Gentleman." That performance led to meaty roles in other box-office hits.

In director Brian De Palma's hit 1983 crime drama "Scarface," Loggia played drug lord Frank Lopez alongside Al Pacino in the violent tale of Miami mobsters.

Two years later, Loggia was a seedy private detective in "Jagged Edge," starring Jeff Bridges and Glenn Close. He lost the best supporting actor Oscar to Don Ameche of "Cocoon."

Also in 1985, he starred alongside Jack Nicholson in director John Huston's black comedy "Prizzi's Honor," which was nominated for a best picture Oscar.

His most famous role was in director Penny Marshall's bittersweet comedy "Big" (1988) starring Hanks as a boy whose wish to become an adult magically comes true. Hanks' character -a boy in an adult body - ends up working for a toy company headed by Loggia.   Continued...

Actor Robert Loggia arrives at the Blu-ray disc launch party for his 1983 classic  film "Scarface" in Los Angeles, California August 23, 2011.  REUTERS/Fred Prouser