Born in 1921 in New York, Vigoda became famous for his character roles in numerous films and television productions. He became known for playing Detective Sgt. Philip "Phil" Fish in Barney Miller, as well as playing Salvatore Tessio in The Godfather, and reprising the role for the final flashback at the end of The Godfather Part II.
In 1982, he was reported dead by People Magazine, but this turned out to be a mistake, and Vigoda posed with the magazine, while sitting upright in a coffin as a joke.
He returned to voice Tessio in The Godfather: The Game.
He has appeared in numerous television shows and movies since The Godfather and "Barney Miller", including "Late Night with Conan O'Brien", Family Guy (in which he played himself), and more recently in a Super Bowl commercial advertising Snickers.
He died at age 94 in January 2016 of natural causes.