Victor Buono

Victor Charles Buono (1938-1984) was born February 3, 1938 in San Diego, California, to Victor F. and Myrtle (Keller) Buono. As a child, he studied drama at St. Augustine High School, and participated in productions at San Diego Junior Theatre.

He began working professionally as an actor in 1956, when he played in Volpone at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego. After attending Villanova, he began work in television, where he had guest roles in several detective shows. Buono made a big screen splash in 1962 with his role in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? His performance as the underemployed and drunk musician Edwin Flagg won him an Oscar nomination.

He acted in a wide variety of films, plays and television shows, including drama, mysteries, comedy, science fiction, horror, and westerns (spaghetti and otherwise). Buono could steal a scene with just a mischievous smirk, a wave of his hand, or a well-timed sigh. He was sought after for his wonderful voice and diction. He was also known for being large, six-foot four-inches tall and over 300 pounds.

Buono wrote a book of poetry on the subject of being fat, and read his poetry on the comedy album Heavy! in 1972. One of his poems, “Fat Man’s Prayer,” was a hit and is still often played on alternative radio. Many people remember him for his appearances on talk shows and the lecture circuit, but he was best known for the roles of “King Tut” in the 1960s Batman television series.

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