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Real-Life Criminal Turned Actor Richard Foronjy Dead At 86

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Former criminal and prison inmate turned famous actor Richard Foronjy, best known for transitioning from a life of crime to a career in Hollywood, passed away this week at the age of 86.

Foronjy did not anticipate that he would become a famous actor later in life. Before he appeared on the big screen, Richard was a criminal who survived by robbing and stealing on the streets of New York. Richard also served more than eight years in prison at Sing Sing and Attica after robbing an attorney at gunpoint.

After serving his sentence, Richard was released and decided to enroll in acting lessons. Shortly after he signed with an agent, he got a part in Sidney Lumet’s crime drama titled “Serpico.” Following this first breakthrough, Foronjy went on to play more than eighty roles in his career.

Ironically, many of Foronjy’s roles cast him as a criminal; however, he just as frequently played law enforcement officers.His firsthand experience gave him an in-depth understanding of both sides of that world.

Some of Richard’s most notable appearances were in films such as “Midnight Run,” “Serpico,” “Once Upon a Time In America,” “Repo Man,” “Carlito’s Way,” and “The Jerk.” In addition to his film roles, Richard also appeared in various television shows, including “Taxi,” “The Bob Newhart Show,” “M*A*S*H,” “Hill Street Blues,” “Kojak,” “The Jeffersons,” and many other popular shows.

Richard released a memoir in 2020 titled “From the Mob to the Movies: How I Escaped the Mafia and Landed in Hollywood,” which detailed his life experiences and how he transitioned from behind bars to mingling with stars.

Rest in peace!

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