Actor and comedian Art Metrano, who was best known for his work on the ‘Police Academy movies has died of natural causes at the age of 84.
According to multiple reports, Metrano passed away at his home in Aventura, Florida surrounded by his family. The ‘Police Academy’ star’s son Harry Metrano spoke to the media, saying he not only lost his father but also a best friend and mentor. “He was and will always be the toughest man I know. I have never met someone who has overcome more adversities than him,” Harry said.
The comedian’s career skyrocketed in the 1970s after performing on the ‘Tonight Show’ with Johnny Carson where he showed off his hilarious magic act spoof. A few years later, Metrano was cast as the main character of the ‘Police Academy’ movies as ‘Ernie Mauser.’ Unfortunately, Metrano’s life took a tragic turn after he suffered a spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed.
R.I.P. Art Metrano
On September 17, 1989, Metrano fell from a ladder while working on the roof of his home in Los Angeles — landing on his head and fracturing his first, second, and seventh vertebrae. Shockingly, he made a remarkable recovery and turned the situation into a one-man stage show called ‘Mertrano’s Accidental Comedy’ where he emerged from a wheelchair and actually took a few steps.
“He was at the peak of his career when that happened, and then it just stopped,” his son said. Adding, “But he managed to enjoy life and overcome adversity.”
Following the fall, the comedian was hospitalized for two months and couldn’t move his hands, but his wife brought him a voice-activated recorder. “In 1990, I had all the little cassettes transcribed. It actually made me cry. It was really cathartic for me,” he said in a later interview.
Art Metrano Starred In Several ‘Police Academy’ Movies!
At the time, some of the proceeds of the play went to charities like Project Spinal Cord, which assisted those with spinal cord injuries.
Interestingly, Metrano made headlines in the past few years after filing a lawsuit against the producers behind ‘Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story’ a 2005 ‘Family Guy’ spinoff movie that he accused of stealing his ‘Amazing Metrano’ comedy routine. In the end, he received what he described as a “very, very nice settlement.”
“Art would want all of his friends and family to continue to smile when they think of him and to laugh and continue on celebrating life,” his family included in a statement. He was survived by his wife Jamie — his first wife Rebecca — and children Harry, Zoe, Roxanne, and Howard. The famous comedian also had several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.