Enzo Stuarti, an Italian tenor who performed in Broadway musicals and at Carnegie Hall, and did popular TV commercials plugging a spaghetti sauce, has died of heart failure.
Stuarti, 86, died Friday (Dec. 16), family members said.
Larry Stuart said his father appeared in more than a dozen Broadway productions, including “Around the World in 80 Days,” “South Pacific” and “Kiss Me Kate.”
He performed under the names Larry Lawrence and Larry Stuart before taking the name Enzo Stuarti, his son said.
Stuarti was a frequent guest on television talk shows, including the Ed Sullivan Show, the Mike Douglas show and the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.
Besides his singing career, Stuarti appeared in commercials for Ragu spaghetti sauce, delivering the “That’s a nice” line about the sauce.
“Those commercials helped his fame,” his son said.
Stuarti’s albums, which covered everything from pop to opera, included “Enzo Stuarti Arrives At Carnegie Hall” and “Bravo Stuarti! Soft and Sentimental.”
Stuarti was born on March 3, 1919, in Rome. He moved to Newark, N.J., in 1934, joining family members who had fled to the U.S. years earlier.
After serving in the Merchant Marines during World War II, Stuarti returned to Italy for several years, his family said.
He returned to the United States in 1951 and appeared on Broadway. He later appeared in concerts with symphony orchestras and in clubs in New York and Las Vegas.
“All the Italian favorites were calling cards of his act,” his son said.
His other passion was race cars. Stuarti once test drove cars for the Ferrari Racing Cars in the 1940s in Italy, the family said.
Stuarti and his second wife, Thelma, retired to her hometown of Midland in 2004.
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