Monday, May 14, 2007

In Case You Were Wondering . . . - News - From jokester to jailbird: "He started out as a gifted improv comic at Toronto's Second City. From there, Tony Rosato took his zany writing and performing style to the small screen, winning fame on SCTV and later on Saturday Night Live.

His off-the-wall characters ranged from fictional TV chef Marcello Sebastiano to Lou Costello, Captain Kangaroo and Yasser Arafat. Industry buzz pegged him as the next John Belushi.

Rosato went on to perform in a variety of TV shows and movies. In 1989 he was nominated for the best-supporting-actor Gemini for his role as police informant Whitey in Night Heat.

Then suddenly, two years ago, Rosato disappeared.

Since then, the actor has been behind bars, with no trial, at the maximum-security Quinte Detention Centre in Napanee, 30 kilometres west of Kingston, on charges of criminally harassing his wife during their marriage. It's alleged that his 'reckless' behaviour led his spouse, Leah, with whom he has a now-2-year-old daughter, to be afraid for her own safety or others'."


Anonymous said...

Another reminder of why it's always best to have a Bill of Rights. Then we remember Guantanamo and the suspension of habeus corpus...but, then, I just picked up a benefit publication for the embattled Canadian bookstore Little Sisters the other day...and Canadian food products don't even need to have there nutritional information broken down the way US products do, a startling fact given the apparent (but misleading?) relative corporate influence in the two nations...

Anonymous said...

Tony Rosato's trial starts on August 7, 2007 in Kingston, ON

Daniel J. Brodsky


From: Larissa Banting []
Sent: July 24, 2007 6:07 PM
To: Daniel Brodsky
Subject: Tony Rosato case

Dear Daniel

Dale Anne Freed gave me your email address.

I have just learned about the unfortunate case of Tony Rosato (I have been living in Costa Rica for the past 6 years) as I just stumbled upon Dale's article. I'm shocked to say the least. As someone who has a personal history with him (although brief), my heart goes out to him.

Tony had been living in Toronto since the late 1990's and I'd first met him in August of 2000 on set the set of Mendors when he
guest starred on a children's tv show I was working on in Edmonton - he
playing Casanova and he gave an outstanding performance, adding in layers and nuances as well as additions to dialogue that took the episode beyond what was originally on the page . He was an absolute joy to work with - funny, warm, loved the child actors and really took time to be with them and pass along advice. No ego, no tantrums, no green M & Ms - just a professional artist focusing on his craft.

He is a very charasmatic person with an intense presence and a brilliant mind. He was very into spiritualism and did believe he was connected to the higher plains but nothing that sounded any 'alarm bells' - he seemed like others I've met on the path to self-enlightenment who have reached some level of truth/understanding. Towards the end of 2001, he was working on getting his green card to work in the US again and felt ready to head back to LA. He sold his house in Cabbagetown (he'd owned it since the 80's) but was on hard financial times and the permanent move to LA was in flux. By December 2001, we ended up going our separate ways.

Tony told me about the drugs back in the SNL days, how the coke kept him going to meet the punishing deadlines of writing and rehearsing the show demanded on a weekly basis - it was also the 80's and it was the drug of choice. He'd quit that years and years ago. While I knew him, he didn't even drink wine. He had a very clean lifestyle - spent time writing, doing voice over work, working as an actor, doing tarot card readings, playing the piano. His only vice was the odd joint now and then. And he certainly was not violent - never saw the slightest inkling of anger or violence.

He was passionate about justice and the injustice of his situation is beyond epic proportions. It is as if he is stuck in a cruel story by Kafka or Orwell.

Tony Rosato is not a criminal or a threat to the community - he is a genius whose mind has unfotunately fallen into an abyss.

I'm thankful to Dale for being the torch bearer and shedding light into this dark chapter of Canadian judicial history - it's shocking, it's sad and it shouldn't happen to anyone, least of all someone who clearly is in need of psychiatric treatment.

And thank you, Daniel, for taking on this case. I'm sure it's not been easy, given Tony's state right now which being in maximum prison for two years has only exasperated. I wish you the very best in your upcoming battle..

Please pass along my wishes of support to Tony (he didn't have email when we were in contact). I'm sure he could use all the positive words of encouragement he can get right now.

And thanks for reading this email - it's such a horrible story, I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around it. He is a good man - I just hope he gets the help he desperately needs so he can go on to create the things of beauty and truth he so believes in.


Larissa Banting