Born in Frankfort, Indiana, Anthony Caruso was reared from the age of 10 in Long Beach, California. He made his film debut in Johnny Apollo (1940). During his long career, Caruso often portrayed villains in supporting roles and bit parts. He often played people of different descents like Italians, Indians, Arabs, Persians, Mexicans, Latinos and Native American characters in his films. In some of his television roles, Caruso played sympathetic characters, like “Ash”, on an early episode of CBS’s Gunsmoke. He guest-starred on two of Rod Cameron’s syndicated series, City Detective and COronado 9. In 1954, Caruso played Tiburcio Vasquez in an episode of Jim Davis’s syndicated western series, Stories of the Century. He appeared in the first Brian Keith series, Crusader. Among Caruso’s other Western credits was 1954’s Cattle Queen of Montana also starring future U.S. President Ronald W. Reagan. At Christmas 1957, Caruso appeared as a Roman Catholic priest in the episode “The Child” of NBC’s The Restless Gun, starring John Payne, and also guest starring Dan Blocker and James Gleason. In 1959, Caruso was cast with Tom Nolan and Sally Brophy in the role of George Bradley in the episode “Annie’s Old Beau” on the NBC children’s western series, Buckskin. That same year, he portrayed Matt Cleary on CBS’s Wanted: Dead or Alive episode “The Littlest Client”, with Steve McQueen. Also 1959, he also guest starred on the ABC/Warner Brothers western series, Sugarfoot, in the episode “The Extra Hand”, along with guest stars Karl Swenson and Jack Lambert and the series star, Will Hutchins. In 1960, Caruso played a Cherokee Indian, Chief White Bull, in the episode “The Long Trail” of the NBC western series, Riverboat, starring Darren McGavin. In the story line, a group of Indians are being moved by the river vessel, the Enterprise, rather than walking the Trail of Tears to their reservation in Indian Territory. Harry Lauter and Dennis Cross appear with Caruso in this episode. In 1961, he appeared twice on the ABC/Warner Brothers drama series, The Roaring 20s, including the role of Lucky Lombardi in “The Maestro”. He was also cast with Will Hutchins in a second The Roaring 20s episode entitled, “Pie in the Sky.” Early in 1961, he was cast as Velde in the episode “Willy’s Millionaire” of the short-lived ABC adventure series, The Islanders, with Diane Brewster.
Anthony Caruso guest starred in an episode of the ABC western series, The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters, based on a Robert Lewis Taylor novel of the same name. Caruso guest starred three times on CBS’s Perry Mason. In 1962, he played Keith Lombard in “The Case of the Playboy Pugilist.” In 1965, he made two appearances, both times as the murder victim: first as title character Enrico Bacio in “The Case of the Sad Sicilian,” then as Harvey Rettig in “The Case of the Runaway Racer.” In 1966, Caruso guest starred in the Barry Sullivan western series The Road West, set in Kansas, in the episode entitled “This Dry and Thirsty Land”. In 1964, he guest starred in the Bonanza episode ‘The Saga of Squaw Charlie’ playing a Native American man shunned, by most everybody and with only two friends, Ben Cartwright and a little girl named Angela. From 1966 to 1970 he guest starred three times on the long running NBC western The Virginian, starring James Drury. In 1965 he guest starred on ABC’s The Addams Family as Don Xavier Molinas. Some of his more memorable roles were that of the alien gangster “Bela Oxmyx” in the classic Star Trek episode “A Piece of the Action”, Chief Blackfish on the NBC series Daniel Boone, Mongo in the film Tarzan and the Leopard Woman, Sengo in Tarzan and the Slave Girl, and Louis Ciavelli (the “box man” or safecracker) in The Asphalt Jungle. Caruso played the comical character of the Native American “Red Cloud” on the 1965 Get Smart episode “Washington 4, Indians 3”. In 1970, Caruso made a guest appearance on the ABC crime drama The Silent Force in the episode “A Family Tradition.” In 1974, he appeared in the final episode, entitled “The Fire Dancer,” of the ABC police drama Nakia. Caruso died three days before his 87th birthday in Brentwood in Los Angeles, California. His ashes were scattered into the Pacific Ocean.
- April, 07, 1916
- Frankfort, Indiana
- April, 04, 2003
- Brentwood, Los Angeles, California