Porky’s’ Star Tony Ganios Passes Away at 64

Renowned actor leaves a lasting impact on cinema.

by Nouman Rasool
Porky’s’ Star Tony Ganios Passes Away at 64
© Lost Gems & Stinkers/YouTube

Tony Ganios, the beloved comedic actor best known for his iconic role as Meat in Bob Clark's hit film "Porky's" and as Perry in Philip Kaufman's 1979 classic "The Wanderers," sadly passed away on February 18th following surgery in a New York hospital.

At 64 years old, Ganios left an indelible mark on the film industry, particularly in the realm of teen comedies and action movies of the 1980s. The news of his passing was heartbreakingly shared by his fiancée via social media.

Accompanied by a poignant photo of the couple holding hands, she expressed her deep love and sorrow with the words, “I love you so much, my love. I’m broken”. Her grief was further encapsulated in a follow-up tweet featuring a photo of Ganios, recalling their last exchange of “I love you” and describing him as her heart, soul, and best friend.

Ganios' journey in film began with his film debut in "The Wanderers," directed by Kaufman. In this film, set in 1963, he portrayed Perry, a member of a group of Bronx Italian-American street toughs, showcasing his talent for playing physically imposing and tough characters.

This role set the stage for his future successes, including a memorable collaboration with co-star Ken Wahl in the 1987-90 crime series "Wiseguy," where he played a recurring role as a mob lawyer.

Meat in 'Porky's': A Legacy

However, it was his portrayal of Meat in the 1981 raunchy comedy "Porky's" that cemented his status in cinematic history.

The film, revolving around a group of high school friends and their quest for revenge against a nightclub owner, may have received critical disapproval, yet it triumphantly emerged as the sixth highest-grossing movie of 1982 and led to two sequels.

Ganios' filmography also includes notable appearances in "Porky's II: The Next Day" (1983) and the action-packed "Die Hard 2" (1990). Following his work in "Rising Sun," Ganios took a step back from the limelight, with only a few film appearances between 1991 and 1993.

In a 2015 interview with Cult Faction, he reflected on his sporadic return to acting, acknowledging his mixed feelings about the industry and the persistent encouragement from fans and friends despite the challenges of re-entering a field where he had faced difficulties.

Born in Brooklyn, Tony Ganios' legacy in film and the memories he created for fans worldwide will forever be cherished. He is survived by his fiancée, Amanda, and a community of admirers who mourn the loss of a truly unique talent.

His contribution to the cinematic landscape, particularly in portraying characters with a blend of toughness and heart, has left an unforgettable impression.