Bruno VeSota

Tubby 5′ 10 1/2″ character actor Bruno VeSota had a remarkably long, varied and impressive career acting and directing in the mediums of stage, radio, movies and television. He was born Bruno William VeSota on March 25th, 1922 in Chicago, Illinois. He was the second of three sons born to Lithuanian immigrants Kasmir and Eleanora VeSota. Bruno first began acting in the 7th grade while attending the Catholic parochial school St. George’s. He made his stage debut as the villain in the children’s play “Christopher’s Orphans.” At age 19 VeSota went to the Hobart Theatre in Chicago where he learned the basics on acting, make-up and direction. He made his stage directorial debut with a production of “Richard III” and went on to direct everything from the classics to light comedies. After briefly working in Lithuanian radio in the 40s Vesota did a longer stint on English-language radio. He even provided the voice of Winston Churchill for a radio production. Moreover, Bruno joined the Actors Company of Chicago and continued to perform on stage. VeSota then worked in live television in Chicago in 1945. He directed over 2,000 live TV programs and acted in some 200 more. VeSota moved to Hollywood, California in 1952. Bruno began acting in films in 1953. He achieved his greatest cult feature popularity with his frequent and delightful appearances in a bunch of hugely enjoyable low-budget Roger Corman exploitation pictures. Bruno was especially excellent as Yvette Vickers’ angry cuckolded husband in the Grade B monster classic “Attack of the Giant Leeches.” Other notable movie roles include a disgusting slob junkyard owner who sells stolen automobile parts on the side in “The Choppers,” a bartender in “The Haunted Palace,” a hapless night watchman who becomes a victim of “The Wasp Woman,” a snobby coffeehouse regular in the hilarious black comedy gem “A Bucket of Blood,” a perverse oddball named Mr. Donald Duck from Duluth in “Single Room Unfurnished,” a nervous innkeeper in “The Undead,” a Russian spy in “War of the Satellites,” a minister in “Hell’s Angels on Wheels,” a cultured gangster in “Daddy-O,” and a brutish loan enforcer in “Carnival Rock.” Bruno narrated the atrocious cheapie clunker “Curse of the Stoned Hand” for notorious schlockmeister Jerry Warren. He also worked on the make-up and has a bit part in Curtis Harrington’s nicely spooky “Night Tide.” VeSota does a cameo in Steven Spielberg’s made-for-TV fright feature “Something Evil.” Bruno directed three movies: the entertainingly lurid crime potboiler “The Female Jungle,” the fun alien invasion entry “The Brain Eaters,” and the silly spoof “Invasion of the Star Creatures.” VeSota had a recurring role as a bartender in a handful of episodes of the hit Western TV show “Bonanza.” Among the TV shows VeSota had guest spots on are “Kojak,” “McMillan and Wife,” “Hogan’s Heroes,” “Mission: Impossible,” “It Takes A Thief,” “Hondo,” “Branded,” “My Mother the Car,” “The Wild, Wild West,” “The Untouchables,” and “Leave It to Beaver.” VeSota had six children with his wife Genevieve. Bruno VeSota died of a heart attack at age 54 on September 24th, 1976.

Related Posts