Daniel J. Travanti (Actor) - Hill Street Blues
Daniel J. Travanti 1
Updated: 1/05/21

Name: Daniel J. Travanti

Birth Name: Danielo Giovanni Travanti

Born: March 7, 1940 in Kenosha, Wisconsin, USA

Claim To Fame: Daniel J. Travanti is an American actor best known for playing police captain Frank Furillo in the television drama series Hill Street Blues (1981-1987), for which he received a Golden Globe Award and two consecutive Primetime Emmy Awards from many nominations.

Family Life: No info found.

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Info: Travanti, one of five children, was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin, to Italian immigrant parents John and Elvira Travanti.

His father worked at the American Motors assembly plant in that city.

He attended Kenosha High School, where he was an all-star football player; he received athletic scholarship offers to several colleges, but decided he wanted to be an actor rather than an athlete.

A good student, he was offered scholarships to Harvard University, Princeton University, and Dartmouth College, although he eventually attended the University of Wisconsin–Madison, from which he graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1961.

After that, he attended the Yale School of Drama on a fellowship.

In 1978, he graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a master's degree in English.

In 1957, before his senior year of high school, he attended the youth government and leadership program called Badger Boys State.

Many of Travanti's roles prior to the mid-1970s were credited as "Dan Travanty" or "Dan Travanti." Later roles are credited as "Daniel J. Travanti."

Travanti has publicly acknowledged his past as an alcoholic who found sobriety through Alcoholics Anonymous, calling alcoholism a "disease of loneliness and secrecy". In 1981, he made such a confession to Rona Barrett in an interview on NBC and even recited, from memory, all of the organization's "Twelve Steps" on camera. Captain Furillo, his best-known character, was also a recovering alcoholic, and the character was shown multiple times taking part in AA meetings.

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Trivia: His first credited role was in an episode of Route 66 called "Child of a Night".

Years later, Travanti earned five nominations and two Emmy Awards for his portrayal of Hill Street Station Captain Frank Furillo. And in 1982, Boston's Emerson College chose him as the commencement speaker, and gave him an honorary Doctorate degree.

In 1983, Travanti starred in the TV movie Adam, for which he received another Emmy nomination.

In 1986, HBO broadcast the made-for-cable biographical film Murrow, with Travanti's portrayal of Edward R. Murrow receiving a Cable Ace nomination.

Inducted into the Wisconsin Performing Arts Hall of Fame in 1994.

In June of 1995, he sold his home in Pacific Palisades to Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver.

He was nominated for a 1999 Joseph Jefferson Award for Actor in a Principal Role in a Play for "Old Wicked Songs", at the Apple Tree Theatre in Chicago, Illinois.

From January to March 2007, Travanti appeared off-Broadway in Oren Safdie's The Last Word... at the Theater at St. Clements in New York City, and from November to December 2008, Travanti played the "Con Melody" in an off-off Broadway production of Eugene O'Neill's A Touch of the Poet for Friendly Fire Theater in New York.

He also appeared on The Twilight Zone Radio Dramas as Captain William Fletcher in the audio adaptation of "The Little People".

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Where Are They Now: Travanti has been an entertainment titan for well over 60 years. His last project was was guest starring on NCIS: Los Angeles. Hopefully, once things return to normal, he will return to television. It would be great to see him again!


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