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The man who portrayed Lieutenant/Captain Ernie Mauser in two of the “Police Academy” films has passed away at the age of 84. According to Deadline, he died in his Aventura, Florida home of natural causes on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021. His son, Harry Metrano, shared the sad news on his Instagram the following day.
The actor was born on Sept. 22, 1936, in Brooklyn, New York. His name at birth was Harpo Mesistrano. He was the son of a housewife and garment manufacturer. Metrano grew up in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn.
In the 1970s he frequently appeared on variety shows as a magician. During his performances, he would do absurd tricks while constantly humming his theme song — “Fine and Dandy.” He would perform tricks like making his fingers “jump” from one hand to the other.
He studied acting with Stella Adler and John Cassaveteswhile working as a comic in the Catskills. In 1970, he performed his magic act on “The Tonight Show.” On the show, he went by the name “The Amazing Metrano.”
He married Rebecca Chute on Dec. 28, 1972. They had four children before they divorced.
In 1981, he performed in the Mel Brooks spoof comedy “History of the World: Part I.” He played Leonardo DaVinci in this movie. However, he was most famous for playing Lieutenant/Captain Bauser in the movies “Police Academy: Their Forst Assignment,” and “Police Academy 3: Back in Training.”
People can also see him on the TV shows “Bewitched” and “Bonanza.” He can be seen in the 1993 movie “Toys” and the 1998 film “How Stella Got Her Groove Back.”
Many of his people paid him tribute on social media. Frank Conniff tweeted, “I can’t begin to tell you how hilarious and impactful Art Metrano’s “The Great Metrano” routine was when I saw it on the Tonight Show in the early 70s. Also a good actor, even in “Rocket Attack USA,” seen on
@MST3K. Rest In Peace.”
He is survived by his children, family, and friends. May he rest in peace.
Written by Sheena Robertson
Legacy: Art Metrano (1936–2021), actor known for “Police Academy” movies; by Linnea Crowther
IMDb: Art Metrano
People: Dead 32 Years After Career-Ending Accident: ‘Rest in Paradise’; by Alexia Fernández
Top and Featured Image Courtesy of Lulu Vision’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License