How did Chick Vennera die? 'Thank God It's Friday' and 'Golden Girls' star dead at 74

Chick Vennera was best known for his disco dance scene performed on top of parked cars in 'Thank God It’s Friday'


                            How did Chick Vennera die? 'Thank God It's Friday' and 'Golden Girls' star dead at 74
Chick Vennera was best known for dancing on top of parked cars in the 1978 disco movie 'Thank God It's Friday' (Twitter)

Actor Chick Vennera, who starred on Broadway, in numerous films and television and animated series throughout his long career in Hollywood, has died. He was 74 years old. Reportedly, the actor succumbed to lung cancer at his home in Burbank, California.

The actor's death was confirmed by his daughter, Nicky Vennera. We witnessed the passing away of many great actors recently including actors Robert Downey Sr, Richard Donner, Frank Bonner, Joy Vogelsang among many.

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The multi-talented actor, singer and dancer, Vennera was best known for his disco dance scene performed on top of parked cars in 'Thank God It’s Friday' and his stint as Enrique/Pepe in the NBC classic 'The Golden Girls,' starring Bea Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan and Estelle Getty. He also voiced characters for the 'Animaniacs', 'Batman Beyond', 'The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest' and 'Pinky and the Brain'.

In his career span of 30 years in film and television, Vennera starred alongside some great actors including Donna Summer in 'Thank God It’s Friday', Richard Gere in 'Yanks' and Robert Redford in 'The Milagro Beanfield War'. He had roles to play on the hit drama 'Baretta' starring Robert Blake and even the mini-series 'The Moneychangers' with Kirk Douglas and Christopher Plummer. After retiring from showbiz, Vennera founded and taught at Los Angeles’ Renegade Theatre and Film Group in 2009. The actor is survived by his daughter and wife, Suzanne Vennera.

Vennera was born in New York as Francis Vennera, and moved to California after high school to pursue acting. He studied at the Pasadena Playhouse and, after a brief stint in the Army, he came back and performed in nightclubs and with the Disney on Parade tour. His big break came when he was cast in the national tour and Broadway production of 'Grease'. He then continued his career in television with a long list of roles including 'Lucas Tanner,' 'Baretta' and 'The Blue Knight' to his last television role on 'Static Shock'. The veteran actor starred in his last film 'Glass Trap' in 2005.

'Rest in Peace Chick Vennera'

Fans swarmed Twitter with messages remembering the great actor and his works. One fan wrote, "Rest in Peace to Chick Vennera. The Goodfeathers was one of the first Animaniacs skits I got into; so Chick’s performances as Pesto and Godpigeon were always welcome to hear on TV after a long day out. My heart goes out to Chick’s friends and family in this difficult time."

Another tweeted, "Damn, just when I was watching the last episode of the original Animaniacs, I get news that Chick Vennera, voice of Pesto (of The Goodfeathers) has passed away just recently. Talk about sad timing. Rest in peace, old feathered friend." One fan commented, "Prayers for Chick Vennera's family he was an absolute legend for voicing both Pesto and The Godpigeon fly high Pesto."

Another wrote, "RIP actor Chick Vennera ! My thoughts & prayers go out his family & friends at this time . Thank you for sharing your talents with the world . You will be sorely missed . God bless your soul." One tweet read, "Chick Vennera, the voice of Pesto and The Godpigeon, passed away. Honestly, this hit me like a ton of bricks."



 



 



 



 



 

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