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SIF Honors Actor Tony Lo Bianco

Sons of Italy Foundation® Honors Actor Tony Lo Bianco

Contact: Diane E. Crespy, (202) 547-2900

Washington, D.C., Nov. 18, 1998 - Actor Tony Lo Bianco was honored by the Sons of Italy Foundation® (SIF) for his dedication and service to the foundation's principles, on Nov. 14, at an executive session of the Order Sons of Italy in America® (OSIA) in Charleston, S.C.

"I'm very grateful for [being honored]," said Lo Bianco, who was presented an award that highlighted the most successful fund-raising event in the foundation's history, the 10th anniversary National Education & Leadership Awards (NELA) Gala, held in Washington, D.C., on May 21, 1998.

"I feel that giving back is as ordinary as living, because that's the fabric from which I grew up. . . It's not an obligation, it's a normal feeling," he said of his affiliation with the SIF and numerous other charities.

In his introduction of Lo Bianco, SIF National Executive Director Philip R. Piccigallo said that the SIF trustees "have measured this man in his entirety and have found him to be solid as gold at the core - giving, caring, contributing, substantive, never hesitating or doubting whenever asked to assist in an SIF initiative."

"Tony is a living embodiment of the human drive to give back, to make things better," added SIF President Paul S. Polo Sr.

Lo Bianco became the spokesman for the SIF in 1996. Since then he has played a vital role in organizing the NELA Gala each year. This year Lo Bianco, with businessman Bob Corrao and award designer Helen Boehm, presented the SIF's Humanitarian Award to Tony Bennett who accepted the award on behalf of the late Frank Sinatra.

Lo Bianco is an accomplished screen, television, and stage actor. His screen credits include The Honeymoon Killers, The French Connection, Nixon, and City of Hope. On television he has made appearances in, among others, the miniseries Marco Polo and Jesus of Nazareth and the movies The Sands of Time and The Ann Jillian Story. He is currently working on the film Marciano, which is due out on Showtime in the beginning of 1999.

Lo Bianco is also a director and producer and won an Emmy for his one-man show Hizzoner the Life of Fiorello La Guardia. Other honors include an Obie for his performance in the off-Broadway play Yanks 3 Detroit 0 Top of the 7th and a Tony nomination and Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Actor in View from the Bridge.

Besides his important position with the SIF, Lo Bianco is involved in many other charities, including the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation and OSIA's national charity, the Cooley's Anemia Foundation.