Saturday, December 5, 2015

RIP Robert Loggia

RIP Robert Loggia
Yesterday, 85-year-old Robert Loggia died of Alzheimer's Disease. 

Robert Loggia was a great character actor with a lengthy career. He wasn't somebody who preposterously well-known. He wasn't somebody who got lots of recognition during award time (undeservedly so). But you could always tell with every movie he starred in, whether it was something funny or something serious, whether he was a hero or a villain, he went to work. He believed in everything he was doing, and he got the audience to buy into that as well. With over thirty movie performances to his career, and several dozen television performances, Loggia had a good career something I hope he was proud of.

I first saw Loggia when I was six-years-old, when my family and I saw "Independence Day" in 1996. I was completely fascinated by anything that had to do with aliens, and I had been anticipating "Independence Day" for several days, months, it felt like years. I'd talk about it to anybody who would listen. While I enjoyed the characters Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman played, I was really drawn to the character Robert Loggia played. He was stern about protecting the planet and he was a good hero to stick next to the other guys. I really enjoyed Loggia in that, and it was this movie that put him on my radar.

Everybody probably knows Loggia best from his work on the films "Scarface" and "Big." In "Scarface," Loggia played Frank Lopez, the drug baron who got Tony Montana (Al Pacino) into the business. Its a wild performance, and I can't believe with all honesty why Loggia didn't get any type of recognition for his work. Lopez was manic, a wild villain, a kind gangster-type Joker who decided to sell drugs instead of becoming a psychopath in Gotham. While Pacino is really good, watching Loggia and Pacino share screen time is some of the most iconic stuff in the whole movie. Lopez' death scene in particular, is a wonderful and brutally beautiful stand-off between the two actors, and boils my blood every time I watch it.

Another one of my favorite Loggia performances, from a movie nobody saw, but I think everybody should see is "Lost Highway." Bill Pullman and Loggia reunited a year after "Independence Day" and the character Loggia played in the two movies couldn't be any more different from each other. But that's what made Loggia such a good character actor, he could do it all. In "Lost Highway," Loggia played a much different type of gangster compared to Frank Lopez, but he was just as menacing, and just as horrifying. "Lost Highway" is a movie nobody saw, but I hope now it can something people try out as it houses one of the better Loggia performances.

Case in point, Loggia was a wonderful performer, and he will be missed greatly. He will always have a special place in my heart for all of my favorite actors.

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