Ron Carey (December 11, 1935 â" January 16, 2007) was an American film and television actor. The 5-foot 4-inch actor was best known for playing cocky NYPD Police Officer Carl Levitt on TV's Barney Miller, in which he was almost always surrounded by male actors (and sometimes female guest stars) who stood at least 4" taller. The series' stars (Hal Linden, Max Gail, Abe Vigoda, Ron Glass) all stood six feet or more. Carey appeared in the recurring role through almost the entire series. He first appeared on the show as Angelo Molinari (aka. The Mole) in Season 2, Episode 22.
Life and career
Carey was born Ronald Joseph Cicenia in Newark, New Jersey, the son of Fanny and John Cicenia, and was raised in an Italian American Catholic family. Carey did stand-up comedy in the 1960s, after earning a bachelor's degree in communications from Seton Hall University in 1956. His comedy centered mostly around Catholicism and his childhood of being the undersized but quick-witted kid on the block. His break came in 1966 when he appeared on The Merv Griffin Show and in 1967 he released a comedy album entitled The Slightly Irreverent Comedy of Ron Carey.
From the mid-1970s on, Carey was a member of Mel Brooks' comedy troupe, appearing in featured roles in films such as High Anxiety, Silent Movie, and History of the World, Part I. He also appeared in supporting roles in other films and on television, and was seen in scores of commercials, including some T-shirt ads for Hanes, and an ad for Nabisco's snack cracker Better Cheddars where he sang. He is most remembered for his role as the diligent but somewhat obsequious and passive-aggressive Officer Carl Levitt, which he played from 1976 to 1982 on the TV series Barney Miller.
Carey died of a stroke at a Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California in January, 2007. He is survived by his wife of 38 years, Sharon, and his brother, James Cicenia.
Movie and TV quotes
- "I got it, I got it, I got it ... I ain't got it." (from High Anxiety)
- "Only the best gig in town that every stand-up philosopher, including Socrates, would die for! ... Believe it or not, you are going to play Caesar's Palace. [Brooks]: "The main room?" [Carey] The main room! [Both]: Groovus!" (from Brooks' History of the World, Part I)
- "I bust my anus to get you a job and you're angry with me? Boy, you are nuts. N-V-T-S nuts!" (from History of the World, Part I)
- "[Barney Miller] What happened, Levitt? [Levitt] I talked it over with a couple of doctors and they said 'forget it'. [Miller] Incurable, huh? [Levitt] Yes sir. Five six and a half, that's it." (from Barney Miller)
- "...And what makes you think there's one...even one drop of honey left?! You know where I found the empty jar of honey? Upside down on top of the statue of our Lord Jesus Christ Almighty!!" (As Dom DeLuise's frustrated brother "Junior" after an all night eating binge by Dom in "Fatso")
- As Junior to Dom âI told you I donât want all that breadâ¦I âlikeâ breadâ¦you âloveâ breadâ¦Didnât ya learn anything from Salvitore?!...39 years old the man wasâ¦39 years old and heâs deadâ¦deadâ¦dead Domâ¦and thatâs what killed him!â
- The Out-of-Towners (1970)
- The Montefuscos (1975) TV Series
- Silent Movie (1976)
- Barney Miller (1976â"1982) TV Series
- High Anxiety (1977)
- Fatso (1980)
- History of the World: Part I (1981)
- Johnny Dangerously (1984)
- Have Faith (1989) TV Series
- Lucky Luke (1991)
- Food for Thought (1999)
- Ron Carey at the Internet Movie Database
- New York Times obituary
- Playbill.com obituary
- The Final Taxi podcast on Ron Carey's life