Abe Vigoda grew up in New York City, the son of a tailor. He first appeared on stage at the age of 17. After serving in World War II Vigoda studied acting at the American Theater Wing. For years he played small roles on stage, screen and television. He is most recognized for playing Detective Fish on the ABC sitcom, Barney Miller. In 1982 People magazine mistakenly reported Vigoda's death. Those rumors still persist more than 20 years later.