Joseph Bologna and wife Renee Taylor in 1974.
Joseph Bologna and wife Renee Taylor in 1974. Photo: CBS

A memorial service is scheduled Saturday in Beverly Hills for actor, director and playwright Joseph Bologna, who died last month at the age of 82 after a protracted battle with pancreatic cancer.

Bologna’s acting credits included the 1982 movie “My Favorite Year,” the 1984 film “Blame it on Rio” and 1987’s TV musical sitcom “Rags to Riches.”

But his breakthrough film was 1970’s “Lovers and Other Strangers,” which he wrote with Renee Taylor, his wife of 52 years. The script was based on the true-life circumstances of staging their own 1965 wedding on short notice. Several relatives performed as extras in the film that earned the couple an Academy Award nomination for best screenplay.

In 1971, the couple won a Writer’s Guild Award for their collaboration in writing and acting in the film, “Made for Each Other.” Two years later, they received an Emmy for penning the TV movie “Acts of Love and Other Comedies.”

As a commercial director, Bologna won numerous Cleo Awards.

The Brown University graduate, who served a tour in the Marine Corps before he landed his first job producing and directing Manhattan-based TV commercials, had a long history in movies, television and on stage.

In 1996-98, he was the voice of Inspector Dan Turpin in a number of episodes of “Superman: The Animated Series.”

His final work is the soon-to-be-released movie, “Tango Shalom,” which also features Taylor, actress Lainie Kazan and Bologna’s two children, daughter Zizi Bologna and son Gabriel, as music director and director.

Earlier this year, Bologna was given the Night of 100 Stars Oscar Gala Lifetime Achievement Award to mark his 60-year career and his efforts to help save The Motion Picture Home hospital in 2012.

Bologna, who died Aug. 13 at City of Hope in Duarte, will be eulogized at an 11 a.m. Mass at Church of the Good Shepherd. The service will be closed to all but family, friends and associates.

—City News Service

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