Image of Ron Carey

Ron Carey

He was a notably short, Italian, nasal-toned and mischievous-looking fellow, a perfect type for the stand-up comedy circuit and for playing Brooklynesque characters in T.V. sitcoms and films...which is just what Ron Carey did. He was born Ronald Joseph Cicenia in Newark, New Jersey, on December eleventh, 1935, into a huge Italian family; his father was a singing waiter at one time. Ron earned his Bachelor's degree in communications from Seton Hall University in South Orange in 1956, but it didn't take him long to change directions. Together his pint-sized frame (actually, he was 5'7", but "acted" much shorter), pushy attitude and elastic face seemed like an ideal blend for inducing laughs, so he decided to begin a career in entertainment instead. Ron moved to near-by New York and took to the comedy stage, finding work in such prime clubs as "The Improvisation". He soon earned notice for his "little man" humor, which was built around Italian family and Roman Catholic "guilt" jokes (in reality, he once considered being a priest). Ron finally gained some momentum on T.V. making various funnyman appearances on the talk/variety show formats hosted by the best of the best -- Jack Paar, Merv Griffin, Mike Douglas, Ed Sullivan and Johnny Carson. He also found lucrative work in commercials playing various feisty or hapless characters. Ron finally broke into films with the Jack Lemmon/Sandy Dennis comedy The Out of Towners (1970) as a Boston taxi driver, then continued on with other minor bits in Who Killed Mary Whats'ername? (1971) and the cult film Made for Each Other (1971) starring Joseph Bologna and Renée Taylor. Earlier Ron appeared on Broadway in the couple's 1968 hit comedy "Lovers and Other Strangers." It wasn't until his work as a secondary staple in Mel Brooks' madcap company that he earned even a modicum of success in films. His participation in the zany parodies Silent Movie (1976), High Anxiety (1977) and History of the World: Part I (1981) occurred during the height of his T.V. fame. Likewise, he went on to deliver a substantial role as plus-sized Dom DeLuise's unsympathetic brother Frankie in Fatso (1980), directed by Brooks' wife Anne Bancroft. As for the smaller screen, a regular player on the summer variety series The Melba Moore-Clifton Davis Show (1972) led to his being cast in the New York-area sitcom The Corner Bar (1972) and the ethnic family comedy The Montefuscos (1975). A steady pay-check was not to be had, however, until he was added to the second season ensemble of Barney Miller (1975) headed by Hal Linden and Abe Vigoda. Ron earned sympathy strokes as Carl Levitt, a brown-nosing, eager-beaver patrolman who yearned to be a plainclothes detective in Barney's police agency, but just didn't measure up because of his vertically challenged stature. Ron, whose character finally received a promotion after the long haul, stayed with the popular show until its cancellation in 1982. Ron died of complications from a stroke at seventy-one years old in Los Angeles and is survived by long-time wife Sharon.

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Dec 11, 1935
Movie/TV Credits:
First Appeared:
In the series The Merv Griffin Show 1962-10-01
Latest Project:
Movie The Good Bad Guy 1997-01-26
Known For
Poster of Alice
Poster of Silent Movie
Poster of Barney Miller
Poster of The Corner Bar
Movie The Good Bad Guy Robert Lambert 1997-01-26
Movie Troublemakers Sheriff Fox 1994-11-25
Movie Lucky Luke 2 Joe Dalton 1992-01-01
Series Lucky Luke Unknown 1992-03-20
Movie Lucky Luke Joe Dalton 1991-07-04
Series Have Faith Unknown 1989-04-18
Movie Johnny Dangerously Pat 1984-12-21
Movie History of the World: Part I Swiftus 1981-06-12
Movie Fatso Frankie 1980-02-01
Series Sweepstakes Unknown 1979-01-26
Movie Peeping Times Angelo Bertinelli 1978-01-25
Movie High Anxiety Brophy 1977-12-25
Series Alice Unknown 1976-08-31
Movie Silent Movie Devour 1976-06-17
Series Barney Miller Carl Levitt 1975-01-23
Series The Montefuscos Frank Montefusco 1975-09-04
Movie Acts of Love and Other Comedies Ed 1973-03-15
Series The Corner Bar Unknown 1972-06-21
Movie Made For Each Other Group Member 1971-12-12
Movie Dynamite Chicken Unknown 1971-01-20
Movie Who Killed Mary Whats'ername? Larry The Bartender 1971-12-11
Movie The Out-of-Towners Barney Polacek, Cab Driver in Boston 1970-05-28
Series The Johnny Cash Show Unknown 1969-06-07
Series The Merv Griffin Show Self 1962-10-01