Felice Orlandi, 78; Versatile Actor in Film, Plays and TV

From a Times Staff Writer

Felice Orlandi, an actor who appeared in many movies, plays and television programs, died Wednesday at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank. He was 78.

Orlandi, who was married to actress Alice Ghostley -- Bernice Clifton on "Designing Women" -- and lived in Studio City, died of lung cancer.

"He was a very fine actor who was also an exceptionally fine gentleman," actor Earl Holliman, who had known Orlandi since the 1960s, said this week. He said Orlandi and Ghostley "had a marvelous marriage and love affair."

Actor Gary Beach, a friend of the couple who is in Los Angeles to re-create his Broadway role as the flamboyant director in "The Producers," said Orlandi and Ghostley befriended him when he lived for a time in Los Angeles in the 1980s.

"I knew no one, and Felice would call and say, 'Oh, come on, come over,' " Beach said. "He was a generous and kindhearted man and so sweet and compassionate." He was also, by his friends' accounts, a wonderful cook.

Among the movies Orlandi appeared in were Stanley Kubrick's "Killer's Kiss," "Bullitt," "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?" and "Catch-22."

A native of Italy who was raised in Cleveland, Orlandi earned a degree in theater arts at Carnegie Tech (now Carnegie Mellon) and made his Broadway debut in 1954 in "The Girl on the Via Flaminia."

His numerous guest TV appearances included "Hogan's Heroes," "Dallas," "Hill Street Blues" and "Gunsmoke."

Contributions can be made to Actors and Others for Animals, 11523 Burbank Blvd., North Hollywood, CA 91601.

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