Nicholas Colasanto

The Early Life of Nicholas Colasanto

Nicholas Colasanto was born on January 19, 1924, in Providence, Rhode Island. He was the son of Italian immigrants and grew up in a working-class family. As a young man, Colasanto served in the United States Navy during World War II. After returning from the war, he pursued a career in acting and began appearing in small roles in television shows and films.

In 1978, Colasanto landed the role of Coach Ernie Pantusso on the hit television show Cheers. His portrayal of the lovable and bumbling coach quickly made him a fan favorite and helped to make Cheers one of the most popular shows on television during the 1980s.

Nicholas Colasanto’s Personal Life

Nicholas Colasanto

Colasanto was married twice during his life. His first marriage ended in divorce, and he later married his second wife, Ellen, in 1978. Together, they had one child, a daughter named Nicole.

Despite his success on Cheers, Colasanto struggled with health problems throughout his life. He was a heavy smoker and had a history of heart disease. In 1985, he was forced to take a leave of absence from the show due to his declining health.

The Death and Funeral of Nicholas Colasanto

On February 12, 1985, Nicholas Colasanto passed away at the age of 61. His death was attributed to a heart attack, which was likely caused by his years of smoking and his history of heart disease.

Colasanto’s funeral was held in his hometown of Providence, Rhode Island. Many of his friends and colleagues from the entertainment industry attended the service to pay their respects. His fellow cast members from Cheers were also in attendance, and they later dedicated an episode of the show to his memory.

Nicholas Colasanto’s Last Episode of Cheers

Colasanto’s declining health had forced him to take a leave of absence from Cheers during the show’s third season. However, he returned to the show for its fourth season and appeared in several episodes before his health once again forced him to step away from the role.

Colasanto’s last episode of Cheers, titled “Cheerio, Cheers,” aired on January 31, 1985, just two weeks before his death. In the episode, Coach decides to retire and move to Florida to be closer to his daughter. The emotional farewell scene between Coach and the rest of the Cheers gang is now considered one of the most memorable moments in television history.

Nicholas Colasanto’s Legacy on Columbo and Other TV Shows

After his death, Colasanto’s legacy continued on through his work in other television shows. One of his most notable roles was as the character of Mr. DePalma in the hit detective series Columbo. He appeared in several episodes of the show during the 1970s and 1980s.

Colasanto’s talent and likability as an actor helped to make him a beloved figure in the entertainment industry. His work on Cheers and other shows continues to be celebrated by fans and colleagues alike, and his legacy as one of the most memorable character actors of his time lives on.


Who was Nicholas Colasanto?

Nicholas Colasanto was an American actor and television director, best known for his role as Coach Ernie Pantusso on the sitcom Cheers.

What was Nicholas Colasanto’s career in the entertainment industry?

Nicholas Colasanto started his career as an actor in the 1950s, appearing in various TV shows and films. He later transitioned to directing and worked on several TV shows, including Columbo and Starsky and Hutch.

What was Nicholas Colasanto’s role in Cheers?

Nicholas Colasanto played the role of Coach Ernie Pantusso, a former baseball coach turned bartender, on the sitcom Cheers. He appeared in 73 episodes before his death.

How did Nicholas Colasanto die?

Nicholas Colasanto died on February 12, 1985, at the age of 61, due to a heart attack. His death was a shock to the cast and crew of Cheers, and the show paid tribute to him in the episode “Cheerful Goodbyes.”

What was Nicholas Colasanto’s legacy?

Nicholas Colasanto’s legacy is his memorable portrayal of Coach on Cheers and his contributions to the entertainment industry as an actor and director. He is remembered fondly by his colleagues and fans.

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