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Nicholas Colasanto
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Nicholas Colasanto

Nicholas Colasanto was an American actor, known primarily for his role as Ernie 'Coach' Pantusso on the long-running sitcom Cheers. Feature films include Fat City and Raging Bull.

A decorated veteran of World War II, he also directed various television series, such as Starsky and Hutch and CHiPs.

Colasanto died of a heart ailment in 1985 at the age of 61, just as Cheers was achieving its greatest success. He was replaced by Woody Harrelson. After his death, his presence on the show was represented by the placing of a picture of Geronimo on the wall of the show's primary set. The photo had previously hung in Colasanto's dressing room and was said to hold a special meaning to the actor. The picture remained on the set for the rest of the series' run.

Eight years after Colasanto's death, the show offered a subtle but important nod to him in its final scene: star Ted Danson walks up to and straightens the Geronimo picture before walking off stage for the last time.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2005.

Nicholas Colasanto Facts

BirthdayJanuary 19, 1924
BirthplaceProvidence, Rhode Island, USA
Date of deathFebruary 12, 1985 (Studio City, California, USA, age 61)

Selected Filmography

Not available.