Joseph Bologna, actor, writer, and director known for his role in 1982’s “My Favorite Year” and for his long collaboration on stage and screen with wife Renée Taylor, has died after a three-year battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 82. This week on The Halli Casser-Jayne Podcast we visit our archives and a madcap, freewheeling, eye-opening interview with the two legends of stage and screen.
Early in their 52-year marriage, Renée Taylor and Joe Bologna had a huge fight — a fight that ultimately led to a highly autobiographical, two-person show. “I told him to get out,” Taylor recently said in an interview. “So he started packing. But then I started packing, too. He asked me why and I said, ‘If you ever leave me, I’m going with you,’” which became the title for the show.
Fifty-two years later Taylor and Bologna were one of the major power marriages in entertainment. Bologna starred in movies such as “My Favorite Year,” “Blame It on Rio,” “Chapter Two” and “Big Daddy,” and is probably best known for TV’s “Married With Children.” Taylor has appeared in “The Producers,” “Dr. Doolittle 2,” and “Alfie.” She is probably best known as Fran Drescher’s mother, Sylvia Fine, on “The Nanny” and had a recurring role on “How I Met Your Mother.”
They have written and directed for the theater. Their first play together, “Lovers and Other Strangers,” was a Broadway hit, and then became a film, earning them an Oscar nomination. Their relationship always at the heart of their creativity. “People always ask us the secret to our relationship,” Taylor said. “We started thinking about it, and that led to this show.”
A visit to the archives of The Halli Casser-Jayne Podcast with two legends of our times, Renee Taylor and the late Joseph Bologna. The podcast posted at Halli Casser-Jayne dot com.