Robert Loggia is one of my favorite actors. He is technically a character actor, someone who usually plays supporting roles. I have always thought of character actors as sort of like unsung heroes. What I mean is that people see them on screen and they say "Oh, I have them somewhere but I can't think of their name". This is what fate doomed Mister Loggia to in the early part of his career when he was getting started in movies and tv (even when he was playing a Mexican bandito in the Walt Disney tv show). Mister Loggia deserves so much more credit then this because he is an actor who has never ever given a bad performance in any movie or television series that I have seen him in. He often steals the show from the "stars" that he is featured with. He was one of the first actors, as a matter of fact, to be considered for the role of Frank Booth in Blue Velvet, but the part went to Dennis Hopper. He played the role of FBI Agent Nick Mancuso in the great mini-series Favorite Son, based on the novel written by Diedre Hall's husband Steve Sohmer. It is a genius of casting that Mister Loggia was given this fine role, because its one that he was born to play! No one else could have done such a fine job as he. Mancuso reminded me a lot of Jack Klugman as Quincy (which was one of my favorite series). He was someone who showed us all a very important lesson. He showed us that one seemingly ordinary person who cares can make an extraordinary difference if he just has the guts to speak up and fight the good fight for the underdog. Mancuso was crusty and grouchy (he was much more unlikeable in Sohmer's novel as a matter of fact, they had to "tone him down" for the tv show)However, he had wonderful redeeming qualities beneath that gruff exterior, he was an old fashioned idealist. He told a young agent, "Kid if this government worked as well as it looked, it would be a great country". Mancuso was a real American hero and Robert Loggia is a great actor who deserves so much more credit for his years of outstanding service. They cancelled this show way too soon and in my opinion after the Persian Gulf War and 9/11, we need people like Mancuso now more then ever.
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