Chick Vennera, an actor and voiceover artist known for many roles including the movie Thank God It’s Friday and the animated series Animaniacs, has passed away. The veteran performer reportedly died on Wednesday at his home in Burbank, California, following a battle with cancer. The death of Chick Vennera was also confirmed by his daughter, Nicky Vennera. He was 74 years old.
Born on March 27, 1947, Vennera set his sights on an acting career following a stint in the US Army Signal Corps. First hitting the stage, the aspiring actor landed a major role in the Broadway production of Grease, spending a year with the show. His talents would later land him a role in the 1978 movie Thank God It’s Friday which featured a memorable scene of Vennera performing a dance routine on top of cars. He’d later appear in movies like Yanks, High Risk, McBain, and Time Under Fire.
Vennera also appeared in multiple episodes of the classic comedy series The Golden Girls. This includes playing the role of Kid Pepe, a Cuban prizefighter with a hidden talent as a violinist that the ladies temporarily manage. He also played the recurring role of Rose’s boss, consumer reporter Enrique Mas, in a pair of episodes in the fifth season. Vennera had previously had a role in the late ’70s crime drama series Vega$ as well and later appeared in Diff’rent Strokes and JAG.
The actor is also known for his voiceover work. He provided the voice of Pesto in the animated series Animaniacs, a role he also voiced in the 1999 movie adaptation Wakko’s Wish, as well as the Godpigeon. He also voiced Lorenzo in The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest and Ferrett in the animated DC superhero series Static Shock. The actor’s other voice work includes roles on The Jetsons, Foofur, Batman: The Animated Series, and the video game Bayonetta. Vennera also often worked as a voice double for Joe Pesci.
Twitter is now in mourning over the news, an Animaniacs podcast called The Animanicast posted a tweet that reads: “Sad news to share. We’ve just heard that Chick Vennera has passed away. He was Pesto and the Godpigeon on Animaniacs, was in many live action productions and was an acting teacher. We met Chick on our Goodfeathers Reunion and he was AMAZING. RIP Chick and thank you.”
Another Animaniacs fan added: “Rest in Peace to Chick Vennera. The Goodfeathers was one of the first Animaniacs skits I got into; so Chick’s performances as Pesto and Godpigeon were always welcome to hear on TV after a long day out. My heart goes out to Chick’s friends and family in this difficult time.”
And another saddened fan of the hit animated series said, “This was sad to read. In a series full of amazing voice performances, Chick Vennera’s work as Pesto & the Godpigeon on Animaniacs were some that made me laugh the most.”
Vennera’s survivors include his wife, Suzanne Vennera, and his daughter, Nicky Vennera. Our thoughts go out to them at this painful time. This news comes to us from Deadline.
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