Tony Mastroianni Review Collection

Bosley Says He Is Lucky to Be a Character Actor

Cleveland Press 1965

Actor Tom Bosley admits that he is not tall and not handsome and considers himself lucky that this is the state of affairs that exists.

"There's plenty of work for character actors and that's what I am," he said.

"When I get gray and fatter I'll be reaching the peak of my earning power."

Bosley, starring in "Luv' at the Hanna, is best known for the title role in "Fiorello," the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical in 1959, based on the life of Fiorello La Guardia.

BOSLEY CONTINUED to be identified with the role by the public, although he has worked steadily in other shows since.

He won four awards the year of "Fiorello." Suddenly he had been discovered, after knocking around New York theaters for nine years. Bosley began his acting in Chicago, his home town. He went to radio school after getting out of the Navy. He planned to do sports announcing but along the way he became involved in the theater.

"When I arrived in New York in 1950 I took any kind of job I could get," he recalls. "I parked cars, checked coats. It was an odd situation. I couldn't get an agent until I had a job and I couldn't get a job until I had an agent."

HE RETURNED to Chicago in the summers for summer stock productions -- which is one reason he doesn't do summer stock any more. He had his fill of it.

Since "Fiorello" he has been in a series of shows, including a musical that bombed, as he puts it. Last season he co-starred with Dan Dailey in the mystery "Catch Me If You Can," and has been in two movies and a number of television shows.

Home is New York where Bosley lives with his wife, Jean Eliot, a dancer. They were married four years ago.

BOSLEY has declared that he is staying off television for a year. A number of shows that he had worked on for several months were shown within a few weeks. This, he points out, creates a problem in overexposure.

He has played light roles most of his career, but recalls one that was truly heavy.

"I was in a television special based on an Arthur Miller novel about anti-Semitism. I was an anti-Semite and I was the only Jew in the cast."