Art 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 everywhere in the nation, died on Sept. eight at his house in Aventura, Fla. He was 84.
His son Harry confirmed his demise. The trigger was not given.
Mr. Metrano first gained consideration with a spoof magic act. Introduced because the Amazing Metrano or with some equally grandiose appellation, he would come out and carry out a collection of methods that weren’t actually methods. He’d current every hand to the viewers, index finger raised, then bang his palms collectively behind his again and current them once more — now, two fingers on one hand could be raised, none on the opposite.
The schtick obtained him appearances on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” and assorted different applications within the early 1970s. By then he was additionally constructing an performing profession, having landed small elements on “Mannix,” “Bewitched” and different collection 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 function on “Joanie Loves Chachi” and, in 1985, an element in “Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment,” 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 function in 1986 in “Police Academy 3: Back in Training.”
Credit…Carol Rosegg/Everett Collection
But Mr. Metrano’s profession was interrupted one September day in 1989. He and his spouse at the time had put a home up on the market, and he stopped by to test on it upfront of a exhibiting by an actual property agent. They had work carried out on the pool, and he seen that because of this there was grey cement spray everywhere in the again partitions and balcony. He determined to hose the gunk off.
“I grabbed the ladder that was leaning against the wall and set it firmly against the balcony,” he wrote in a memoir, “Twice Blessed” (with Cynthia Lee, 1994, later retitled “Metrano’s Accidental Comedy”).
Something went fallacious, 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 look up and say, ‘Hi, I’m the owner,’” he wrote in his ebook. “‘I just broke my neck, but not to worry. House looks great, eh? Nice gourmet kitchen!’”
The humor was attribute of the best way he later advised the story in print and onstage (a neighbor finally got here to his assist 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.
“When you’re lying paralyzed in a hospital bed,” he stated through the stage present, “your past becomes your constant companion because your future is a question mark.”
At first he may neither transfer nor converse, however he was finally in a position to discuss once more, and to stroll, generally with the assistance of a crutch. Within a number of years he was telling his story in a one-man present written with Ms. Lee that was carried out, beneath numerous names, throughout the nation.
When it performed in Manhattan in 1996 at the Union Square Theater beneath the title “The Amazing Metrano: An Accidental Comedy,” Vincent Canby, in The New York Times, stated that Mr. Metrano “gives new meaning to the term stand-up comedy: it isn’t the comedy that amazes, but the fact that Mr. Metrano is standing up.”
“‘The Amazing Metrano’ is therapeutic, inspirational theater,” Mr. Canby wrote. “Mr. Metrano is now publicly working through his trauma, finding resources in himself he never 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 business, and his mom, Rebecca (Russo) Mesistrano, was a homemaker.
He performed soccer at Lafayette High School in Brooklyn and attended the College of the Pacific in California on a soccer scholarship, however left faculty 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 ebook, he advised of making an attempt to worm his manner into present enterprise by taking a job promoting a telephone system that enabled busy individuals to speed-dial numbers; that obtained him onto studio tons.
“That was the plan,” he wrote, “sell the product, make some money, meet producers and directors, and then show them my 8×10 glossy 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 function in a CBS sitcom, “The Chicago Teddy Bears,” although the present was short-lived. He had one other main function in a 1986 sitcom, “Tough Cookies,” however that present too didn’t final, both.
Mr. Metrano in a publicity picture with the actor Craig T. Nelson in 2001. Mr. Metrano was a visitor star on the CBS crime drama “The District,” starring Mr. Nelson. Credit…Tony Esparza/CBS
After his accident, he continued to get occasional TV roles, together with on “L.A. Law,” “The District” and “Party of Five.”
Mr. Metrano married Rebecca Chute in 1972; they divorced in 2005. His survivors embrace his spouse, Jamie Golder Metrano; two kids 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.