Artwork Metrano, a comic and actor who appeared in additional than 120 tv exhibits and movies, together with the “Police Academy” films, earlier than a fall from a ladder left him severely injured, an ordeal he become a one-man present he carried out all around the nation, died on Sept. eight at his dwelling in Aventura, Fla. He was 84.
His son Harry confirmed his dying. The trigger was not given.
Mr. Metrano first gained consideration with a spoof magic act. Launched because the Superb Metrano or with some equally grandiose appellation, he would come out and carry out a sequence of tips that weren’t actually tips. He’d current every hand to the viewers, index finger raised, then bang his arms collectively behind his again and current them once more — now, two fingers on one hand can be raised, none on the opposite.
The schtick obtained him appearances on “The Tonight Present Starring Johnny Carson” and various different packages within the early 1970s. By then he was additionally constructing an performing profession, having landed small components on “Mannix,” “Bewitched” and different sequence within the late ’60s; that run continued within the ’70s with “Barney Miller,” “Movin’ On,” “Starsky and Hutch” and dozens of different exhibits.
The 1980s introduced extra performing work, together with a recurring position on “Joanie Loves Chachi” and, in 1985, an element in “Police Academy 2: Their First Task,” a follow-up to the hit 1984 comedy. He performed Mauser, a career-driven officer who turns into a captain and is the butt of jokes; in a single scene, he shampoos his hair with epoxy resin. He reprised the position in 1986 in “Police Academy 3: Again in Coaching.”
However Mr. Metrano’s profession was interrupted one September day in 1989. He and his spouse on the time had put a home up on the market, and he stopped by to verify on it prematurely of a exhibiting by an actual property agent. That they had work completed on the pool, and he seen that consequently there was grey cement spray all around the again partitions and balcony. He determined to hose the gunk off.
“I grabbed the ladder that was leaning in opposition to the wall and set it firmly in opposition to the balcony,” he wrote in a memoir, “Twice Blessed” (with Cynthia Lee, 1994, later retitled “Metrano’s Unintended Comedy”).
One thing went mistaken, and Mr. Metrano fell from the ladder, hitting the bottom head first and snapping his neck. He couldn’t transfer. He lay there, imagining the scene if he have been nonetheless mendacity there when the actual property agent confirmed up.
“I’d lookup and say, ‘Hello, I’m the proprietor,’” he wrote in his guide. “‘I simply broke my neck, however to not fear. Home seems nice, eh? Good gourmand kitchen!’”
The humor was attribute of the way in which he later informed the story in print and onstage (a neighbor ultimately got here to his help earlier than the actual property agent arrived), however the harm was severe. He had damaged a number of vertebrae, and everlasting paralysis was a risk.
“If you’re mendacity paralyzed in a hospital mattress,” he stated through the stage present, “your previous turns into your fixed companion as a result of your future is a query mark.”
At first he may neither transfer nor converse, however he was ultimately in a position to speak once more, and to stroll, typically with the assistance of a crutch. Inside a number of years he was telling his story in a one-man present written with Ms. Lee that was carried out, below varied names, throughout the nation.
When it performed in Manhattan in 1996 on the Union Sq. Theater below the title “The Superb Metrano: An Unintended Comedy,” Vincent Canby, in The New York Occasions, stated that Mr. Metrano “offers new that means to the time period stand-up comedy: it isn’t the comedy that amazes, however the truth that Mr. Metrano is standing up.”
“‘The Superb Metrano’ is therapeutic, inspirational theater,” Mr. Canby wrote. “Mr. Metrano is now publicly working by way of his trauma, discovering assets in himself he by no means knew he possessed.”
Arthur Mesistrano was born on Sept. 22, 1936, in Brooklyn and grew up within the Bensonhurst part of that borough. His father, Aaron, labored within the garment trade, and his mom, Rebecca (Russo) Mesistrano, was a homemaker.
He performed soccer at Lafayette Excessive Faculty in Brooklyn and attended the School of the Pacific in California on a soccer scholarship, however left school to return to New York to review performing and work on his stand-up comedy. He moved to Los Angeles to pursue performing in 1958.
In his guide, he informed of making an attempt to worm his approach into present enterprise by taking a job promoting a telephone system that enabled busy individuals to speed-dial numbers; that obtained him onto studio heaps.
“That was the plan,” he wrote, “promote the product, make some cash, meet producers and administrators, after which present them my 8×10 shiny and phony résumé.”
It appeared to work, as a result of by 1960 he was getting small roles. In 1971, he landed a number one position in a CBS sitcom, “The Chicago Teddy Bears,” although the present was short-lived. He had one other main position in a 1986 sitcom, “Robust Cookies,” however that present too didn’t final, both.
After his accident, he continued to get occasional TV roles, together with on “L.A. Legislation,” “The District” and “Celebration of 5.”
Mr. Metrano married Rebecca Chute in 1972; they divorced in 2005. His survivors embrace his spouse, Jamie Golder Metrano; two youngsters from his first marriage, Harry and Zoe Bella Metrano; a daughter from an earlier relationship, Roxanne Elena Metrano; and quite a few grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
In 1977, Mr. Metrano reached out to a son he had fathered when youthful however who had been given up for adoption. That son, Howard Bald, now a rabbi, carried out a memorial service for him over the weekend in Florida.