Brooklyn born Tony Ganios was literally forced into the film business at the tender age of 18 when his even larger and more powerful uncle Pete made him cut short a powerlifting workout at the Sheridan Square Gym in Manhattan to audition for director Philip Kaufman. As a result, Tony made his film debut as the teen paladin “Perry” in Kaufman’s cult classic The Wanderers (1979). His initial performance was well liked by audiences and soon he was dancing with Sally Field in Back Roads (1981) in a role he landed by hurling the film’s script into the chest of its director. Next, he played a former NFL defensive end turned mountain man in the Lawrence Kasdan scripted John Belushi romantic comedy Continental Divide (1981) before being cast by writer/director Bob Clark as the well hung high school senior “Meat” in the raunchy, but highly successful comedy Porky’s (1981). One of Tony’s most unforgettable roles was as that ill-fated member of the terrorist team in the hit action film Die Hard 2 (1990) who was fatally dispatched by Bruce Willis with an eye bound icicle. Some of his other film and television credits include The Taking of Beverly Hills (1991), Ring of the Musketeers (1992), and Rising Sun (1993), where he revisited his matchstick chewing Wanderers hero as an adversary for Sean Connery. He is also known for his recurring comedic role as a muscular mob lawyer on the Emmy Award winning series Wiseguy (1987).
An ancient military history and period weapons expert, Ganios is one of Brazilian jiu jitsu pioneer and UFC founder Rorion Gracie’s original students. Although retired from acting since 1993, in 2000 Tony and Police Academy veteran Leslie Easterbrook supplied voices for the low budget YouTube animated series “Bad Vlad” under the pseudonyms Nick Fury and Honour Lawrence in what he described as one of the most purely fun performances of his career. The 2014 feature film Daddies’ Girls will not only mark Tony Ganios’ return to the big screen, but his debut as a producer and screenwriter as well.
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