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Tony Danza: Beloved TV Icon and Entertainer Extraordinaire

Full Name Anthony Salvatore Iadanza
Age 72
Birthday April 21, 1951
Relationship Married to Rhonda Yeoman (m. 1970–1974)
Married to Tracy Robinson (m. 1986–2013)
Dating Andrea Micelucci (2014–present)
Height 5′ 9′′
Net Worth $40M
Social Media Facebook

As a long-time fan of Tony Danza, I‘ve eagerly followed his prolific career since first seeing him on Taxi in the late 70s. He‘s brought me decades of laughter and entertainment through his comedic roles, talk show hosting, live performances, books, and more. Here‘s a comprehensive look at the beloved actor‘s background, achievements, passions, and enduring legacy.

Early Life and Pre-Acting Pursuits

Tony Danza was born in Brooklyn in 1951 and grew up in Malverne, NY with his parents Anne and Matty Iadanza, and two siblings. In high school, Tony earned a wrestling scholarship and attended the University of Dubuque in Iowa for two years until a leg injury ended his wrestling aspirations. He then studied history education at Nassau Community College.

In his college years, Tony cultivated his life-long passion for boxing and compiled a record of 9 wins, 3 losses, with his most notable fight at Madison Square Garden in 1972. He legally changed his name from Iadanza to Danza around this time. Prior to becoming an actor, Tony worked various jobs including taxi driver, waiter, and disc jockey. He even sang and played guitar for a band called Teenage Sex in the late 60s.

Big Breaks on Taxi and Who‘s the Boss

Tony got his major break performing in the 1976 Broadway musical comedy Over Here! That exposure helped him land a spot on Taxi in 1978, playing good-natured boxer Tony Banta. With his natural comedic ability, Tony quickly became my favorite character, earning him an Emmy nomination and Golden Globe award.

Tony‘s career reached new heights in 1984 playing single father Tony Micelli on Who‘s the Boss? opposite Judith Light. As a fellow father, I appreciated seeing a devoted, progressive dad as the lead character, breaking stereotypical gender roles. The show cemented Tony‘s place in the sitcom hall of fame.

Later Acting, Hosting, Broadway, and More

Even after Taxi and Who‘s the Boss ended, Tony continued working steadily in the 90s and 2000s on series like The Tony Danza Show, Family Law, and The Practice. He also hosted his own popular talk show from 2004-2006, where his easygoing charm shone through. I still laugh remembering his Teach reality show in 2010 chronicling Tony training to be a high school English teacher.

Some of my favorite Tony Danza movie roles include Angels in the Outfield, She‘s Out of Control, and Don Jon. And I fondly recall his tap dancing and singing talent on full display in Broadway‘s The Producers in 2006. At 70, Tony even sold out a limited Las Vegas concert residency in 2021. His lively song and dance numbers showed his impressive stamina and showmanship.

Awards and Achievements

In his 50+ year career, Tony has racked up some amazing achievements:

  • 1984 Golden Globe Award for Taxi
  • 4 Golden Globe nominations
  • 1981 Emmy nomination for Taxi
  • Hollywood Walk of Fame Star in 1988
  • 2005 People‘s Choice Award for The Tony Danza Show
  • 2012 Bachelor‘s Degree in History Education
  • University of Dubuque‘s 2015 Alumnus of the Year

Off Stage Interests and Passions

Beyond performing, Tony has pursued his interests in writing, education, sports, and family:

  • Writing – Published memoirs I‘d Like to Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had (2012) and Don‘t Fill Up on the Antipasto (2008)
  • Education – Taught high school English after earning his teaching degree in 2010-2011
  • Boxing – Remains an avid boxing fan and participant in charity events
  • Family – Father of Marc, Katie, and Emily and grandfather of 4. Married and divorced twice before his current long-term relationship.

Tony Danza‘s Enduring Legacy

With his decades-spanning career and iconic roles, Tony Danza has rightfully earned his place in entertainment history. His comedic timing, versatile talents, and lovable tough guy-with-a-heart-of-gold persona have made Tony one of America‘s most adored TV stars.

As a long-time fan, I‘m amazed at Tony‘s resilience and commitment to pursuing his passions over the years. He seems to genuinely love what he does – whether it‘s acting, singing, dancing, writing, teaching, or mentoring. Despite his huge successes, Tony remains down-to-earth and connected to his roots.

Tony Danza is a true national treasure who has brought joy to millions. At 72, he is still entertaining audiences with his humor, energy, talent, and charm. I can‘t wait to see what Tony does next on his never-ending quest to follow his heart and share his gifts with the world. He is an inspiration.