Mostly Credited As: Jay Novello Birth Name: Michael Romano Date Of Birth: August 22, 1904 (Age 78) Country Of Birth: USA Birth Place: Chicago, Illinois Date Of Death: September 02, 1982 Cause Of Death: Lung Cancer
Although he was born in Chicago, Jay Novello learned to speak Italian from his immigrant parents before he learned to speak English. Growing up in a varied immigrant neighborhood, Novello picked up German and Greek as well. His knowledge of languages and dialects made him a natural for stage and radio work where he got roles of various ethnic backgrounds.
He moved to Hollywood and continued working in radio. His ability to play men of different nationalities soon got him into film and he made his screen debut in 1930 with a small, uncredited part. His nearly 200 film and television appearances cover every genre. He was a Japanese spy in the serial Adventures of Smilin' Jack, a Spaniard on television series Zorro (1958) and an Italian on The Untouchables (1963).
Comedy great Lucille Ball appreciated his talent and cast him multiple times in I Love Lucy and The Lucy Show. His appearance as Mr. Merriwether in the I Love Lucy episode The Seance is outstanding.
He is remembered best as Mayor Lugato in the McHale's Navy series which featured Ernest