Senator Montgomery Joins in Commending Tony Danza Upon the Occasion of His Selection as 2014 Italian-American Day Honoree

Velmanette Montgomery

June 13, 2014

WHEREAS, It is the sense of this Legislative Body to pay tribute to those individuals of true purpose and worthy accomplishment who foster ethnic pride and strive to preserve their cultural heritage, thereby enhancing the profile of cultural diversity which strengthens the fabric of community throughout this great Empire State; and

WHEREAS, Attendant to such concern, and in full accord with its longstanding traditions, this Legislative Body is justly proud to commend Tony Danza upon the occasion of his selection as 2014 Italian-American Day Honoree; and

WHEREAS, Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, actor and humanitarian Tony Danza has starred on some of television's most beloved series, and is one of America's most beloved entertainers; for more than 30 years, this celebrity has delighted television, film, and stage audiences with his performances, and has impacted countless lives through his many volunteer efforts; and

WHEREAS, Tony Danza is the oldest son of proud Italian American parents who truly believed in the American dream, and who modeled community and family values; his father, Matty, was a Brooklyn sanitation worker, while his mother, Anne, an immigrant from the Sicilian province of Trapani, worked as a bookkeeper; and

WHEREAS, Tony Danza and his family moved to the Long Island community of Malverne, Nassau County, when he was 14; after graduating from Malverne High School, he attended the University of Dubuque on a wrestling scholarship, earning a bachelor's degree in history education; and

WHEREAS, While earning a living as a professional boxer, Tony Danza was "discovered" and eventually cast in the critically-acclaimed television series "Taxi," earning him a place in television history, and making him a household name; this was followed by a starring role in the series "Who's the Boss?," which ran for eight seasons and broke all syndication records; and

WHEREAS, This multifaceted entertainer next explored his love for the stage; his many stage credits include his theatrical debut in WRONG TURN AT LUNGFISH (1993), for which he earned an Outer Critic's Circle Award nomination; the critically-acclaimed THE ICEMAN COMETH; Arthur Miller's Tony Award-winning play, A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE; and Mel Brooks's hit musical, THE PRODUCERS, playing Max Bialystock; and

WHEREAS, Tony Danza has also appeared on the big screen in such films as ANGELS IN THE OUTFIELD, SHE'S OUT OF CONTROL, THE HOLLYWOOD KNIGHTS, and A BROOKLYN STATE OF MIND; and

WHEREAS, Proud of his heritage, Tony Danza and his son, Marc, wrote DON'T FILL UP ON THE ANTIPASTO: TONY DANZA'S FATHER-SON COOKBOOK, in which they share favorite family recipes, and stories about their Italian immigrant family history; and

WHEREAS, From 2009 to 2010, this extraordinary man took on the challenge of teaching tenth-grade English at Philadelphia's Northeast High School; his amazing experience was taped and aired in the lauded seven part documentary series, "Teach," and, in September 2012, his acclaimed reflection of his teaching experience, "I'D LIKE TO APOLOGIZE TO EVERY TEACHER I EVER HAD: MY YEAR AS A ROOKIE TEACHER AT NORTHEAST HIGH," was released; and

WHEREAS, Tony Danza cares passionately about young people and devotes considerable time and energies to initiatives aimed towards making a difference for youth; he is a regular volunteer and mentor at the New York City All Stars Project, which transforms the lives of youth and poor communities through performance, and he volunteers for the New York-based Voices Against Brain Cancer; and

WHEREAS, In addition, Tony Danza is a participant in Only Make Believe, which provides interactive theatre experiences for children in hospitals and care facilities; he organizes and hosts an annual student/teacher talent show fundraiser at Northeast High School, and this energetic man recently joined the board of the New York City Police Athletic League where he will focus his efforts on strengthening therelationship between the city's youth and the police department; and

WHEREAS, In 2010, Tony Danza received the Inspire Award from AARP THE MAGAZINE, recognizing him as a person who inspires others to action through their innovative thinking, passion and perseverance; he was also honored by USA TODAY at its 2013 National Make A Difference Day Awards for his commitment to helping others through his numerous charity efforts; and

WHEREAS, Tony Danza has truly distinguished himself in his career and community involvement, and the Italian-American community and all of New York State has profited greatly from his talent, dedication, and service; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause in its deliberations to commend Tony Danza upon the occasion of being selected as 2014 Italian-American Day Honoree; and be it further

RESOLVED, That a copy of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be transmitted to Tony Danza.