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Tony Rosato

Tony Rosato
Born (1954-12-26) December 26, 1954
Naples, Italy
Years active 1980–present

Tony Rosato (born December 26, 1954) is an Italian-Canadian actor and voice actor who has appeared in television and movies in both Canada and the United States.


  • Early years and career beginnings 1
  • The height of his career 2
    • Saturday Night Live Not-Ready-For-Prime-Time actor 2.1
    • Night Heat and early voice work 2.2
  • Voice work 3
  • Arrest and mental-health issues 4
  • SCTV and SNL characters 5
  • Notes 6
  • External links 7

Early years and career beginnings

Rosato was born in Naples, Italy, and raised in Halifax, Ottawa, and Toronto. He planned to study chiropractic medicine, but dropped out of the University of Toronto after he began doing improv comedy at The Second City. Rosato first gained attention when he and Robin Duke joined the cast of the first incarnation of SCTV in its final season during the fall of 1980. His most well-known character on the program was a notoriously drunk TV chef named Marcello Sebastiani.

The height of his career

Saturday Night Live Not-Ready-For-Prime-Time actor

After SCTV, Rosato moved with Duke to the cast of Saturday Night Live for the 1981–1982 season, becoming the first cast member to be born outside of North America. Following Jean Doumanian's tenure during the sixth season and Dick Ebersol trying to retool the show (and relying on Eddie Murphy and Joe Piscopo to spice up the sketches), Rosato only appeared on the show for one year before leaving due to an expired contract.

Night Heat and early voice work

Rosato next emerged on the Canadian police drama Night Heat, playing Arthur 'Whitey' Morelli. This role lasted from 1985 through 1989. In autumn of 1990, Rosato portrayed Nintendo's character Luigi on DiC's television show The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 (loosely based around the video game of the same title). He continued his role as Luigi in 1991 for the Super Mario World cartoon. He continued to appear in television and film regularly throughout the 1990s.

Voice work

Rosato did a small voicing part in Resident Evil 3 as a man named Dario Rosso[1] and Nemesis.[1] In Bakugan: Gundalian Invaders, he played the voice of Dharak.

He has also done voices for other animated series including Delta State, Anne of Green Gables: The Animated Series, Mr. Men and Little Miss, The Dumb Bunnies, The Accuser, Maggie and the Ferocious Beast, Atomic Betty, Mischief City and many more.

Arrest and mental-health issues

On May 5, 2005, Rosato was arrested and charged with criminal harassment of his wife Leah, who asserted that his deteriorating mental health had caused her to fear for her safety and that of the couple's infant daughter.[2] The charge was laid after Rosato complained repeatedly to Toronto and Kingston police that his wife, who had recently left him, and daughter had been abducted and replaced by impostors, a belief characteristic of Capgras delusion, a delusional misidentification syndrome with which the Crown's expert psychiatrist had diagnosed Rosato, according to Rosato's eighth lawyer, Daniel Brodsky. It was alleged that the harassment occurred from December 28, 2003 and escalated until April 21, 2005. In spite of the diagnosis, Rosato, who denied mental illness and refused to plead insanity, was held for over two years without bail at a maximum-security detention centre. Daniel Brodsky, who called his client's two-year detention awaiting trial "shocking," asserted that Rosato "spent more time in custody on a harassment charge" than anyone ever convicted of the offence in Canada, estimating that "on average, someone convicted of criminal harassment spends one day in jail and two years on probation." The trial finally commenced on August 7, 2007, in Kingston and it ended on September 5, 2007. In the end, the prosecution downgraded the charge to a summary offence from an indictable offence. Rosato was spared a criminal conviction and handed a conditional discharge, including a psychiatric hospital residence order, issued for a maximum of three years. Rosato was released from the hospital in December 2009 but remained on probation until September 2010.[3]

SCTV and SNL characters

Celebrities impersonated by Rosato on Chip Monck, SNL castmember John Belushi, Tony Orlando and Ella Fitzgerald. His characters on SNL, despite his short tenure, were memorable as well, and included Ed Asner (in character as Lou Grant), Captain Kangaroo, and U.S. Attorney General Ed Meese.


  1. ^ a b "Biohazard 3: Last Escape". IMDB. IMDB. 
  2. ^ The Star article
  3. ^ "A legend returns from his long season in hell". The Star (Toronto). December 5, 2009. 

External links

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