Brown - Light
Newark, New Jersey, USA
Place of Death
Los Angeles, California, USA
Claim to Fame
Cause of Death
Profile Bio Text
Ron was a noticeably short, broadly ethnic, nasal-toned and mischievous-looking fellow, a perfect type for the stand-up comedy circuit and for playing Brooklynesque characters in TV sitcoms and films...which is just what Ron Carey did. He was born Ronald Joseph Cicenia in Newark, New Jersey, on December 11, 1935, into a huge Italian-American family; his father was a singing waiter at one time. Ron earned his Bachelor`s degree in communications from Seton Hall University in South Orange in 1956, but it didn`t take him long to change directions. Together his pint-sized frame (actually, he was 5`7", but "acted" much shorter), pushy attitude and elastic face seemed like an ideal blend for inducing laughs, so he decided to rev up a career in entertainment instead.
Ron moved to nearby New York and took to the comedy stage, finding work in such prime clubs as "The Improvisation". He soon earned notice for his "little man" humor, which was built around ethnic family and Roman Catholic "guilt" jokes (in real life, he once considered being a priest). Ron finally gained some momentum on TV making various funnyman appearances on the talk/variety show formats hosted by the best of the best -- Jack Paar, Merv Griffin, Mike Douglas, Ed Sullivan and Johnny Carson. He also found lucrative work in commercials playing various feisty or hapless characters. Ron finally broke into films with the Jack Lemmon/Sandy Dennis comedy The Out of Towners (1970) as a Boston taxi driver, then continued on with other minor bits in Who Killed Mary What`s `Er Name? (1971) and the cult film Made for Each Other (1971) starring Joseph Bologna and Renée Taylor. Earlier Ron appeared on Broadway in the couple`s 1968 hit comedy "Lovers and Other Strangers." It wasn`t until his work as a secondary staple in Mel Brooks` madcap company that he earned even a modicum of success in films. His participation in the zany parodies Silent Movie (1976), High Anxiety (1977) and History of the World: Part I (1981) occurred during the height of his TV fame. Likewise, he went on to deliver a substantial role as plus-sized Dom DeLuise`s unsympathetic brother Frankie in Fatso (1980), directed by Brooks` wife Anne Bancroft.
Ron was cast in the second season ensemble of "Barney Miller" (1975) headed by Hal Linden and Abe Vigoda. Ron earned sympathy strokes as Carl Levitt, a brown-nosing, eager-beaver patrolman who yearned to be a plainclothes detective in Barney`s police agency, but just didn`t measure up because of his vertically-challenged stature. Ron, whose character finally received a promotion after the long haul, stayed with the popular show until its cancellation in 1982. His on-screen visibility decreased following the end of the police show. He was spotted in a few supporting roles (Johnny Dangerously (1984) and Lucky Luke (1991)) here and there both here and in Italy, and attempted to cash in on his "Barney Miller" (1975) fame with a follow-up sitcom, playing a priest in "Have Faith" (1989), but things didn`t quite pan out. His final film was a major role in the short, 11-minute piece Food for Thought (1999). Ron died of complications from a stroke at age 71 in Los Angeles.
Couple Profile Source
Full Name at Birth
Ronald Joseph Cicenia
Ron Carey (December 11, 1935 – January 16, 2007) was an American film and television actor. The 5-foot 4-inch actor was best known for playing ambitious NYPD Police Officer Carl Levitt on TV's Barney Miller, in which he was almost always surrounded by male actors (and sometimes female guest stars) who stood at least four inches taller. The series' stars (Hal Linden, Max Gail, Abe Vigoda, Ron Glass) all stood six feet or more. Carey appeared in the recurring role for the last six of the eight seasons of Barney Miller 's run. He first appeared on the show as a criminal, Angelo Molinari (aka The Mole), in Season 2, Episode 22.
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