After reading that Joseph Campanella died at the age of 93 recently, I realized that I had absolutely seen him in various television programs for nearly 50 years. You might not have known his name, but he was definitely, “Oh, THAT guy.”
The list of his TV credits is massive. I’m only going to mention programs I actually watched.
Before I knew who he was, I saw him on such shows as Route 66 (1962-1963), where he played two different characters, and The Fugitive (1964-1967), where he played four separate folks in three years, including in the momentous penultimate episode.
In fact, he portrayed multiple characters in series a lot: The Virginian; Night Gallery; Marcus Welby, M.D.; Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law; The F.B.I.; Gunsmoke; Ironside; Medical Center; Quincy M.E.; and Murder, She Wrote.
In the first season of Mannix (1967-1968), the private detective (Mike Connors) worked for Lew Wickersham (Campenella) at Intertect, before Mannix went off on his own. Campanella was nominated for a Primetime Emmy as Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Drama in 1968, but did not win.
The Bold Ones: The Lawyers (1969-1972) was a rotating series. Walter Nichols (Burl Ives), an experienced lawyer, served as a mentor to two attorney brothers (Campanella, James Farentino). I watched all the law shows in those days.
On One Day at a Time (1976-1982), Campenella appeared eight times as Ed Cooper, the ex-husband of Ann Romano (Bonnie Franklin) and father to Julie (Mackenzie Phillips) and Barbara (Valerie Bertinelli). In the first episode, Ann is “excited about her new job until she learns” that Ed is getting remarried. In the last, Ed is present for Barbara’s wedding.
He was in three episodes of Beauty and the Beast (1988-1990) as Dr. Peter Alcott.
I started watching the soap opera Days of Our Lives in 1990. Campenella was in his second run (1987-1988, 1990-1992) as the villain Harper Deveraux. In 1989, he was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award as Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, but lost.
He was the voice of Dr. Curt Connors / Lizard in the animated Spider-Man (1994-1997) series.
Having been a lawyer in so many series, he was appropriately cast five times as Judge Joseph Camp in The Practice (1998-2001).
Finally, in terms of my viewing, Campanella played Joe in 11 of the 36 episodes of the 2000-2001 series That’s Life with Heather Dubrow, Ellen Burstyn, Kevin Dillon and Paul Sorvino, a program no one I know ever saw, other than my wife.
And I didn’t mention the wealth of his one-shot appearances, or shows I never viewed, such as The Bold and the Beautiful or The Colbys.
Joseph Campanella was always a solid performer, and was the backdrop of most of my television viewing life.