Anthony Franciosa was born Anthony Papaleo on October 25, 1928 in New York City, New York. Franciosa's parents were divorced when he was one year old, and he never knew his father. He played a number of smaller roles before playing Polo Pope in an Actor's Studio production of A Hatful of Rain. The production moved to Broadway, earning Franciosa an Outer Critic's Circle award and a Tony nomination. Soon after, he made his film debut in This Could Be the Night. He reprised his role in A Hatful of Rain for Hollywood and earned an Academy Award nomination. The handsome actor was now a very hot commodity. He starred in a variety of top Hollywood films, including The Long Hot Summer, but soon earned a reputation of being combative and difficult. By 1964 he was reduced to playing in the television series Valentine's Day. In 1968 he was cast in one of the lead roles in television's Name of the Game, but was fired after two seasons because his temper was causing too many problems on the set.