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Posts Tagged ‘Tony Lo Bianco’

Tony LoBianco, Michelle-Marie Heinemann 
photo by Rob Rich/SocietyAllure.com © 2014 robwayne1@aol.com 516-676-3939

I first met Tony Lo Bianco at a party for John Catsimatidis, he was warm, friendly and extremely charismatic. Shortly thereafter a mutual friend of ours invited my husband and I to see Tony’s performance in “The Little Flower.” He was absolutely amazing, completely brilliant….in this one man show he wrote about Fiorello H. La Guardia on his final day as a three term Mayor of New York City in 1945.

Some people can do it all, and Tony falls into this category. He is an award winning Actor, (he has been in over 102 films ) Writer, Producer, Director, Father of three beautiful daughters, National Spokesperson for the Order Sons of Italy in America, and a true Humanitarian. He cares deeply for our Country and is a proud and noted supporter of our Military. A true American devoted to making the world a better place.

We here at Old Fashioned Mom are proud to introduce Tony Lo Bianco as our Second Celebrity Father!

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1. How would you describe yourself?

I would describe myself as a fellow who never forgot where he came from. Someone who has been influenced by family life. I have been influenced by my uncles, my mother, my father, and the close relationship I have with my two brothers, John and Joseph. I think I’m influenced greatly by family and uncles. I had eight uncles, my mother had eight brothers. All of the great stories that have been told about their hardship, it is so dramatic. I think I’ve kept that going in my life. Maybe that’s why I’m an actor and love the theatre so much. When I was in acting school, Josh Logan was my directing teacher. He used to always say that he goes around and “fixes the hits.” I always think of that. I look at shows or performances and think about how I can make them better. When I see an actor or an actress or a director, I always think, “What is he or she missing?” That is where my mind goes. How I can get to the depth of what is being said or being told? That is part of the artistic side of my life, and I think it transfers into me as a human. I care very much about people. I care very much about our country and the direction that we’re going in. At the moment I’m not very happy about that, so I’m active in trying to get us back on the right track. Fixing the hits.

Tony Lo Bianco

2. Can you tell us about your children?

I have three daughters. Miriamne, we call her Yummy. The middle daughter is Nina, and my baby is Anna. Unfortunately, I lost my youngest daughter to breast cancer some eight years ago. She was quite a young lady. She was very very strong in her beliefs, and she never took anything from anybody. If she believed in something, she went after it. She worked in the education system, always helping out in the schools with poorer kids. I have two grandchildren by her, Ruby and Darielle, who are doing very well. Her husband remarried to a very nice lady, and they had a baby themselves. So everything is good. Now, my daughter Anna. I remember when I was in Hawaii with her when she was just a little one.
I said, “Hey Anna, want to climb that mountain?”
And she said, “Sure, pop.” We started climbing the mountain, and we got quite a bit up there.
I said, “Oh look. Why don’t we go up there, too?”
And she said, “Okay, pa.” We went up there, and there was a fence in the distance.
I said, “Let’s go up there.”
She said, “Hey, pa. I’m just a little kid.”
She was always a fighter. She was a big protestor, too much to my chagrin, but I admired her. The best thing about Anna was that I could always make her laugh. We went to baseball games and basketball games. She was a big Knicks fan, and we were able to sit at the floor at the Garden. Her favorite player was John Starks, number three. My daughter Nina, the middle daughter, she went to Yale. First she went to Columbia and graduated there with 4.0 average, then she went on to Yale for another three years and graduated with all kinds of honors there, and then she went on to LAMDA to study acting. God help us all. She became a Shakespearean scholar, and now she’s not an actress. But she was always a great, great writer. She wrote a play, and she was looking for a director and asked me to read it. Not for me to direct it, but just because she wanted someone to read it. I couldn’t even understand it. Then she wound up directing it herself, and it was very clear. She really knew her stuff. In fact, I rely on her now every time I write something, I generally send it to her. She’s very smart. She has two boys herself. Lucien and Twilo. Brilliant kids. Then my daughter Yummy, or Miriamne. She has two daughters, Maggie and Annie. Maggie is ready to go to college, and Miriamne is a very efficient mom. I think she’s the voice of the family, basically. She has common sense and logic, you can take a situation or a problem to Yummy and she will solve it. She has a wonderful home that her husband built in Westchester, and we’re all as close as we can be. My daughter Nina lives in Oregon, unfortunately, so she is very far away, but we do get to see them now and then. We certainly see them on Christmas, and we always have a party here for the family. They’re quite wonderful kids.

Tony Lo Bianco

3. Your humanitarian efforts have earned multiple awards. Can you please tell us about them?

That, again, is common sense and logic. As a person who is interested in communicating with an audience about issues and about life itself, the more communication help that you can give to worthy causes the better. It only makes sense. To tell you the truth, you’re only doing it for yourself. You’re the one who feels great about doing it. Everything that you do for somebody else makes you feel good. It’s almost a selfish act. I do my one man show The Little Flower, about the life and times of Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia. We do it for everybody, but my ideal audience is students, college kids, the military, and then the politicians. I want them to understand what is needed to get people back on the right track. As I said before, our country needs to be fixed. The biggest honor I have ever received was when they allowed me to put the wreath on the tomb of the unknown in Washington. They asked me to do that and I was stunned. I am now going off to Rome and Aviano on May 9th to do a show for the air force and military base. I am going again to Vicenza to perform the show again for the military base, and then I return to Rome and perform it again at the theater below the Spanish Steps. Again, that will be for students, for politicians, for the military, for police officers, you know, for the people. When I did the show in Russia back in 1989 when they were first getting their freedom, the American ambassador said to me, “You have done more for our country in these two hours than I have done in two years.” That’s pretty heavy stuff. I have been getting invites from the council general of Egypt to do my show in Cairo, and we have been talking to the council general of Israel to do the show there. My objective is to get the word out. Foreign countries who have seen this show realize that this show is not just for America. This is for the world. I am trying to fulfill that opinion.

Tony Lo Bianco

4. How important is it for you to share this with your children?

I try to instill that not only in my children, but in everybody. It is very important to me that they see what I’m doing and understand what I am doing it for. Everybody has got their own life, and their own way, and their own thinking, and you hope that you can penetrate that and influence them. It is extremely important that they see what I’m doing and they listen to me about what I am trying to do in this world. Again, maybe it is a selfish act, but doing something for somebody else fulfills me. I don’t like to receive presents, I like to give presents.

5. You were absolutely brilliant in The Little Flower. What inspired you to write this one man show?

Doing The Little Flower is like a life’s work for me. When I first came to it in 1983, somebody had asked me to do it. Patricia Schneider and Paul Shyre asked me to do it in Albany at The Egg for WNET, channel 13. So we were doing the play, and we filmed it. It was more of a pleasant look at this man than having some true understanding of what this man was about andDoing The Little Flower is like a life’s work for me. When I first came to it in 1983, somebody had asked me to do it. Patricia Schneider and Paul Shyre asked me to do it in Albany at The Egg for WNET, channel 13. So we were doing the play, and we filmed it. It was more of a pleasant look at this man than having some true understanding of what this man was about and what he accomplished. Now I’ve taken the play and rewritten the whole thing, I do it without an intermission and it’s funny, and it’s poignant, and it has a lot of parallels to what is going on now in our country. That to me is key. Then all of these revelations come. “Oh, gee, that’s a lot like what’s happening now.” That’s my point. That’s why I do the play, to give the audience that revelation. So that we can fix this country and see where we’re going wrong. To me, history is a very important aspect of that. We should be the smartest people ever, because we have all of the history behind us. You know, we’re not inventing the wheel. We have history in everything. You name it, we have it. We see where other countries have made mistakes, in going this way, in socialism, and so on and so forth. Why are we going downhill? I don’t get it. We are heading downhill. All of that inspired me to keep this alive and keep these parallels in front of an audience so that it will make a difference. I have had many politicians who have seen this show say to me, “This is the way the country should be run.” That’s politicians on both sides of the aisle, which is rather remarkable in this political climate. John Catsimatidis, who is a dear friend, he was running for mayor and he bought quite a few shows out because he wanted to run the city the way my show is written. With the messages of LaGuardia. John invited many people to the performances and he attended every one, and he told the audience exactly that. “This is why I’m running for mayor. This is the way I want to run this city.” what he accomplished. Now I’ve taken the play and rewritten the whole thing, I do it without an intermission and it’s funny, and it’s poignant, and it has a lot of parallels to what is going on now in our country. That to me is key. Then all of these revelations come. “Oh, gee, that’s a lot like what’s happening now.” That’s my point. That’s why I do the play, to give the audience that revelation. So that we can fix this country and see where we’re going wrong. To me, history is a very important aspect of that. We should be the smartest people ever, because we have all of the history behind us. You know, we’re not inventing the wheel. We have history in everything. You name it, we have it. We see where other countries have made mistakes, in going this way, in socialism, and so on and so forth. Why are we going downhill? I don’t get it. We are heading downhill. All of that inspired me to keep this alive and keep these parallels in front of an audience so that it will make a difference. I have had many politicians who have seen this show say to me, “This is the way the country should be run.” That’s politicians on both sides of the aisle, which is rather remarkable in this political climate. John Catsimatidis, who is a dear friend, he was running for mayor and he bought quite a few shows out because he wanted to run the city the way my show is written. With the messages of LaGuardia. John invited many people to the performances and he attended every one, and he told the audience exactly that. “This is why I’m running for mayor. This is the way I want to run this city.”

6. What old fashioned traditions did your parents pass down to you that you then passed down to your children?

When I was younger, every Sunday everybody would come over my mother and father’s house for dinner, like a traditional Italian family. Eating in an Italian family goes on forever, you know. We just keep eating, sleeping, getting up and playing the guitar, kids running all over the place, it’s really a joy. I’ve always tried to keep that going as best I can. I have my annual Christmas party both for my family and then for my friends, and I enjoy tremendously cooking for people and making them feel at home. Making them feel like a part of a family. Talking about the traditions of all of the things that I believe in, trying to be an example of that, I hope that my children will pick up on that and they will not throw away the past.

7. What advice would you give to today’s generation of fathers?

You know, this is a tough time to say the least. The best advice one can only give to a father, it’s cliché to say, but you need to keep loving them and keep showing them how much you love them. Give them incentive to earn. We have a habit of spoiling our kids today, with television advertising this game and that game and so on and so forth. All of this independence without understanding of what it costs to get those things. We’re all guilty of it, certainly I am, just giving our kids things or money or whatever it is. I would say, in this particular stage of life to only give an allowance that they earn, that they are not entitled to. In this country we have 51% or so people who are getting entitlements, and that is not an incentive to work. When you can get something for free, you don’t work. I say, help those who really cannot help themselves, but there are a lot of people on that list that can work and don’t. It’s more convenient for them to not work because they’re making the same amount of money as if they were working. They can figure that out. It’s the same thing with kids, you need to teach them what it takes to earn something. That’s the key. That and to keep loving them.