Birth Date: September 2, 1931 / Age: 86
Birth Place: Stamford, Connecticut, USA
Biography: Michael Dante (b. Ralph Vitti, September 2, 1931, Stamford, Connecticut) is an American actor, stage and screen director and former professional athlete.
Dante's professional sports career, though brief, paved his way to Hollywood. He signed a bonus contract with the Boston Braves out of high school and played in the major leagues with the Washington Senators before an arm injury ended his career. Bandleader Tommy Dorsey arranged a screen test at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer soon after.
Winterhawk theater lobby cardSince then, Dante has appeared in approximately thirty motion pictures and 150 television shows. He is also notable for spending seven years in supporting roles under contract to three major studios at once: MGM, Warner Brothers and Twentieth Century Fox.
Some of his films include:
Winterhawk - his 1976 starring role as a Blackfoot chieftain alongside Dawn
Wells and Denver Pyle
Kid Galahad (as Elvis Presley's sparring partner)
The Naked Kiss - one of Dante's darker roles
Dante also has recurring roles on the television serials Days of Our Lives and General Hospital.
It was one brief co-starring role that wrote Dante into American popular culture. A frequent extra on the original Star Trek television series, he was cast in the role of "Maab" in the 1967 episode, "Friday's Child" alongside Julie Newmar. Dante's affable personality makes him a popular draw at Star Trek fan conventions all over the country.
Michael Dante is currently the host of a syndicated radio talk show, "On Deck," previously known as the "Michael Dante Celebrity Talk Show" on which he interviews some of Hollywood's biggest stars. Since 1991, he has loaned his name to the Michael Dante Celebrity Golf Tournament, an charitable fund-raiser held annually in Palm Springs, California.
Dante and his wife Mary Jane reside in Palm Springs.