( b. Jun 30, 1936 Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA - d. Nov 26, 2013 New York, New York, USA ) Male
Tony Musante was a rugged-looking American actor who was seen on television, in films and on stage in the United States and Europe for over 50 years. He appeared opposite George C. Scott in the film "The Last Run" in 1971, on Broadway with Meryl Streep in a 1976 production of Tennessee Williams's 27 Wagons Full of Cotton, and in television dramas like "Ride With Terror," a "DuPont Show of the Week" presentation with Gene Hackman in 1963. (Mr. Musante reprised the role, as an urban psychopath, in a 1967 film adaptation titled "The Incident," with Martin Sheen.)
And then there was "Toma," the show that got away.
Mr. Musante, who preferred the creative opportunities of stage and film roles, was reluctant when, in 1973, he was offered the starring role in "Toma," an ABC detective drama about a renegade police detective. He agreed on one condition: that he have the option to leave after one season.
The show did fairly well in the ratings against formidable competition -- "The Waltons" on CBS and "The Flip Wilson Show" on NBC -- but Mr. Musante stuck to his guns. He left the series to take the role of Lt. William Calley, the Army officer convicted of ordering the massacre of Vietnamese villagers at My Lai in 1968, in Stanley Kramer's 1975 television movie "Judgment: The Court Martial of Lt. William Calley."
"Toma" was soon remade by its creator, Roy Huggins, as a vehicle for a replacement star, Robert Blake. The new show, renamed "Baretta," ran from 1975 to 1978 and -- like other Huggins shows, including "Maverick," "The Rockford Files" and "The Fugitive" -- had a successful afterlife in syndication.
He graduated from Oberlin College in Ohio in 1958 and attended a summer drama school at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., before moving to New York. He and his wife, the former Jane Sparkes, who also graduated from Oberlin, were married in 1962 and lived in Manhattan.
He viewed his role in "Toma" as a big break, in a sense. "He got his first Broadway show because of it," his wife said -- in James Kirkwood's 1975 comedy, P.S. Your Cat is Dead!, which also starred Jennifer Warren and Keir Dullea. Mr. Musante played a fast-talking bandit, and was nominated for a Drama Desk Award.
Source: The New York Times obit