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Harry Guardino

Updated on October 10, 2016
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I'm a fan of classic TV shows and films. My articles focus on the character actors and actress who usually played supporting roles.

Bio Stats

Born: 23 December 1925 (Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA)

Died: 17 July 1995 (Palm Springs, California, USA)

Cause of Death: Lung Cancer

Film and TV Appearances: 125+

Years Active: 1951 - 1993

Award Nominations: 4 (1 win)

Hawaii Five-O (1968-1980)

as Johnny Mio in the episode "Lion in the Streets" (season 12)
as Johnny Mio in the episode "Lion in the Streets" (season 12)

Early Life

Harold Vincent Guardino was born in Brooklyn in 1925. One of six children, he attended Haaren High School before quitting in order to help out his parents and siblings. His first job was unloading flat cars for the New York Central Railroad. At the age of 12, he began acting in shows staged by the Police Athletic League.

During World War Two, he joined the Navy as a gunner's mate and participated in both the Iwo Jima and Okinawa campaigns. He also spent time in the merchant marines.

After his discharge, he enrolled in the New York Dramatic Workshop. He supported himself by working odd jobs before his movie became established. The odd jobs included working as a house painter, dishwasher, gas station attendant and usher.

Son of Ali Baba (1952)

as Hamid (uncredited)
as Hamid (uncredited)


Guardino made his film debut in an uncredited role as an orderly in Up Front (1951). He continued to appear in uncredited or minor roles until his breakthrough role as Angelo Donatello in Houseboat (1958).

Some of the other films he appeared in were Pork Chop Hill (1959); 5 Branded Women (1960); King of Kings (1961); Hell is for Heroes (1962); Rhino! (1964); Treasure of San Gennaro (1966); The Adventures of Bull Whip Griffin (1967); Madigan (1968); Lovers and Other Strangers (1970); Dirty Harry (1971); They Only Kill Their Masters (1972); Capone (1975); The Enforcer (1976); Rollercoaster (1977); Matilda (1978); Goldengirl (1979); Any Which Way You Can (1980): Under Surveillance (1991); and Fist of Honor (1993).

Houseboat (1958)

as Angelo Donatello
as Angelo Donatello


In 1952, Guardino made his television debut in the TV series Dangerous Assignment. TV shows he guest-starred on included I Married Joan; Alfred Hitchcock Presents; Playhouse 90; Overland Trail; The Untouchables; The Eleventh Hour; Naked City; The Outer Limits; Run for Your Life; The Name of the Game; The Evil Touch; Police Story; Hotel; Jake and the Fatman; Cheers; and Murder, She Wrote.

Made for Television movies he appeared in were Valley of Mystery (1967); The Lonely Profession (1969); The Last Child (1971); Partners in Crime (1973); Indict and Convict (1974); Street Killing (1976); Having Babies (1976); Contract on Cherry Street (1977); No Margin for Error (1978); Evening in Byzantium (1978); Pleasure Cove (1979); On Our Way (1985); and The Neon Empire (1991).

He also starred in a number of short-lived TV series...

  • The Reporter (1964) as Danny Taylor
  • Monty Nash (1971) as Monty Nash
  • The New Perry Mason (1973-1974) as Hamilton Burger
  • The Sophisticated Gents (1981) as Vice Detective Collins

Stage Work

After making his Broadway debut in the play End as a Man in 1953, he continued to act regularly in stage productions. He appeared in dramas, comedies and musicals.

The Broadway productions he appeared in were A Hatful of Rain (1955-1956); One More River (1960); Natural Affection (1963); Anyone Can Whistle (1964); The Rose Tattoo (1966); The Seven Descents of Myrtle (1968); and Woman of the Year (1981-1983).

His last stage performance was in the touring production of Breaking Legs in 1993.

"In the theater, there's an end result for your efforts every night. You do a movie, then wait a year before it comes out, and by then you've gone on to something else. In TV, you play a running role and go from one script to another with no time to sit back and see how it's going."

— Harry Guardino

The awards that Guardino was nominated for were

  • Golden Globes (1959): Best Supporting Actor for his role in Houseboat (1958)
  • Tony Awards (1960): Best Featured Actor in a Play for his performance in One More River.
  • Golden Globes (1963): Best Supporting Actor for his role as Sgt. Joseph Angelico in The Pigeon That Took Rome (1962)

In 1966, he was a joint winner of the Western Heritage Awards Bronze Wrangler for his guest starring role as Sam Willock in the episode The Horse Fighter in the TV series The Virginian.

Guardino was married three times. His first marriage Ann Norwood was in 1958 and ended in divorce in 1969 - they had one son. His second marriage was to Jennifer Revson in 1973 and ended in divorce less than a year later. In 1985, he married Elyssa Paternoster and they had two sons. He also had one daughter.

In 1993, he was awarded a star on The Palms Springs Walk of Stars. It can be found at 124 South Palm Canyon Drive.

Harry Guardino died on 17 July 1995 from lung cancer and was cremated. The whereabouts of his ashes is unknown.


Harry Guardino co-stars as Angelo Donatello.



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