Joe Attanasio, Actor and Father of Screenwriter Paul Attanasio, Dies at 89

Joe Attanasio National Anthem - H 2014
AP Images

Joe Attanasio National Anthem - H 2014

He sang the national anthem on Opening Day at Milwaukee Brewers games; another son, Mark, owns the team

Joe Attanasio, an actor, baritone singer and father of two-time Oscar-nominated screenwriter Paul Attanasio, died Friday at his Los Angeles home, his family announced. He was 89.

Another of his sons is Mark Attanasio, the principal owner of baseball’s Milwaukee Brewers. For the past decade, Joe Attanasio sang The Star-Spangled Banner at Miller Park before home openers.
“He never sang professionally but didn’t show the slightest nerves performing before 45,000 people and took that assignment seriously, approaching it with the patriotic zeal one would expect from a World War II veteran,” the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel noted. You can see him sing here.
Attanasio had small roles in Quiz Show (1994), for which Paul received an Oscar nomination for adapted screenplay, and on the ABC series Gideon's Crossing, which was created by his son.
He also appeared in Fatal Instinct (1993), Disclosure (1994), Sleepers (1996) and Blue Jasmine (2013).
Attanasio graduated from Stuyvesant High School in New York, served in the Army Air Corps during World War II and received a bachelor's degree from New York University. He helped design the lighting for the Vivian Beaumont Theater at New York's Lincoln Center, his family said.
Survivors also include his wife of 60 years, Connie; son Robert and daughter Stacey; daughters-in-law Debbie, Lee and Amanda; son-in-law Robert; and grandchildren Daniel, Michael, Annabelle, John, Grace, Jane, Theo, Joseph and James.
Donations in his memory can be made to the Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation for the support of the Translational Cancer Research Laboratory or the UC Regents in support of the work of Dr. Brandon Koretz.
Twitter: @mikebarnes4