Art Metrano


9/22/1936 (85 years old) Brooklyn, New York

Moonfaced, curly-headed comic actor Art Metrano went to junior college in Stockton, California on a football scholarship; he later transferred to the College of the Pacific, majoring in acting. Returning to New York, Metrano tried to find work -- only to head back to the West Coast on the advice of an astrologer. Supporting himself as an automatic telephone system salesman, Metrano began attaining small TV parts, which led to his being cast in They Shoot Horses, Don't They? At a Christmas party, Metrano began cutting up with an improv bit in which he pretended to be a sleight-of-hand artist; the routine consisted of his humming the song "Fine and Dandy" as he'd proceed to pull invisible handkerchiefs out of his pocket and extricate himself from non-existent handcuffs. This "do-nothing magician" act led to several guest spots on The Tonight Show, Laugh-In and The Dean Martin Show, and a regular stint on 1970's The Tim Conway Hour (the theme song of which was, inevitably, "Fine and Dandy"). By 1971, Metrano was costarring in a '30s-era sitcom The Chicago Teddy Bears, playing a soft-hearted gangster. The series was axed after 13 weeks, consigning Metrano to the guest-star circuit. Art Metrano subsequently showed up in such films as Seven (1979), Breathless (1983) and Malibu Express (1984); he also had regular roles on TV's Movin' On (1974), Amy Prentiss (1974), Joanie Loves Chachi (1982), Loves Me Loves Me Not (1977) and Tough Cookies (1986).