Joe Sirola, who had a solid career playing secondary roles on television and the stage and an even better one as the anonymous voice pitching gasoline, meat, rental cars and countless other products in hundreds of commercials, died on Sunday in Manhattan. He was 89.
Claire Gozzo, his longtime companion, said the cause was respiratory failure.
Mr. Sirola was a show-business jack-of-all-trades, acting on Broadway, in small theaters, on television soap operas and dramas, in the occasional movie; he even produced on and Off Broadway late in life. Along the way he befriended fellow showbiz personalities large and small. When he’d tell stories about, say, his drinking buddy Richard Burton (which he would do often; he was a first-class raconteur), he’d do it with a pretty good Burton impression.
That vocal flexibility made him far richer than a journeyman actor could ever hope to be. In the 1960s he began doing voice-over work, and he soon found himself in high demand. A 1971 article about him said he could be heard in 40 different commercials at that time and speculated that Americans who listened to the radio or watched TV probably heard his voice every single day.
He took considerable pride in the vocation.
“The day is long past when a person who is merely a good announcer can do an effective commercial,” he said in that interview.
Forty years later, he explained his lucrative success to Columbia College Today, a publication of his alma mater.
“I used the mic as a person,” he said. “I spoke to the audience rather than at them. I went from ,200 a year to a million a year for 20 years.”
Joseph Anthony Sirola was born on Oct. 7, 1929, in Carteret, N.J. His father, Anton, was a carpenter, and his mother, Ana (Dubrovich) Sirola, ran a boardinghouse in Chelsea; both had emigrated from what is now Croatia.
Mr. Sirola grew up in New York City and graduated from Stuyvesant High School in 1947. In 1951 he received a business degree at Columbia.
In addition to Ms. Gozzo, he is survived by a daughter, Dawn Bales, and three grandchildren.
After service in the Army, Mr. Sirola took a job as a sales promotion manager at Kimberly-Clark. When a girlfriend told him, “You’re much more than a salesman,” he took some courses in the arts at Hunter College, one of which was in acting.
His first Off Broadway credit was in 1959 in a forgettable play called “Song for a Certain Midnight,” though his performance elicited a few kind words from the critic Brooks Atkinson in The New York Times. He made his Broadway debut the next year, playing the proprietor of a bar in “The Unsinkable Molly Brown.”
Later Broadway acting credits included “Golden Rainbow” in 1968 and a revival of “Pal Joey” in 1976. At the same time he was getting an increasing amount of television work, playing roles on shows like “Get Smart” and “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” in the 1960s and “Hawaii Five-O,” “The Magician” and “The Montefuscos” in the 1970s.
In 1989 he played the father of the title character in “Wolf,” a CBS crime drama about a former San Francisco police officer played by Jack Scalia.
“On the set of ‘Wolf’ David Peckinpah — executive producer — and I had an expression describing Joe,” Mr. Scalia said by email. “‘A little bit of Joe Sir-Ola goes a long way’ — referring to how Joe’s zest, enthusiasm and love for living life in the moment was always big and grand.”
Of the many things Mr. Sirola was known for, not least was the rooftop garden he kept at his 11th-floor penthouse on the Upper East Side. He started it in the late 1960s with a few simple tomato plants, and over the years it became more and more elaborate.
“I’ve got two fig trees, pear trees, seven grape vines,” he told Newsday in 1989. “I’ve planted two blueberry bushes. There are tomatoes and peppers. And, oh yes, there’s every kind of herb you can imagine.”
He also grew roses. He generally sported one in his lapel when he attended Broadway openings, and each June he would host a “Champagne and Roses Party” that was storied among his ever-expanding circle of friends.
While filming the 1984 made-for-television movie “Terrible Joe Moran,” Mr. Sirola found a fellow gardener in the film’s star, James Cagney, who was playing the title character in what turned out to be his last role. Gardening wasn’t the only thing they had in common.
“He had red hair, I had red hair,” he told The New York Times in 2016. “He went to Stuyvesant High School, I went to Stuyvesant High School. He was in the Players club, I am in the Players club. He was in the Friars Club, I am in the Friars Club.”
His admiration for Cagney stayed with him — a few years ago he invested 0,000 in the Off Broadway biographical musical “Cagney,” which played more than 500 performances before closing in 2017 at the Westbeth Theater.
That earned him a producing credit. It wasn’t his first; in the last decade or so he had accumulated a number of others, including for the Broadway musical “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder,” which won the Tony Award for best musical in 2014.
Throughout his performing and producing careers, he continued to work the voice-over game. Over the years, consumers heard him telling them that “G.E. brings good things to life” and that with Boar’s Head meats “you get cold cuts without shortcuts.” He pitched Hertz rental cars, Mobil gasoline, Club Med vacations, Chevrolets and countless others. He was still working when the age of webisodes arrived: In 2010 in a series of fake mini-documentaries for Volkswagen he played a fictional codger named Sluggy who was said to have accidentally invented a game of punching someone in the arm any time a VW was spotted.B:
【房】【间】【内】，【莫】【问】【站】【在】【透】【明】【的】【玻】【璃】【窗】【外】，【看】【着】【里】【面】【泡】【在】【玻】【璃】【缸】【里】【的】【张】【婉】，【心】【不】【是】【一】【般】【的】【疼】。 【尽】【管】【张】【婉】【身】【上】【的】【黑】【色】【鳞】【片】【已】【经】【褪】【去】，【但】【在】【蓝】【色】【液】【体】【中】【她】【显】【得】【格】【外】【的】【病】【态】。 【里】【面】【几】【位】【穿】【着】【白】【大】【褂】【的】【科】【研】【人】【员】【正】【在】【紧】【张】【的】【研】【究】【着】，【王】【仙】【时】【不】【时】【追】【问】【几】【句】，【气】【氛】【有】【些】【压】【抑】。 【王】【仙】【通】【过】【对】【比】【张】【婉】【和】【人】【族】【各】【项】【的】【身】【体】【数】【据】【分】【析】，王中王中特【张】【嘉】【玥】【追】【得】【更】【起】【劲】【儿】【了】，【犬】【狮】【战】【魂】【携】【带】【的】【剧】【毒】【属】【于】【麻】【痹】【性】【毒】【素】……【如】【果】【是】【其】【它】【毒】【素】，【她】【可】【能】【会】【考】【虑】【这】【头】【老】【虎】【的】【肉】【还】【能】【不】【能】【吃】【了】，【但】【麻】【痹】【类】【毒】【素】【是】【能】【够】【消】【散】【的】，【所】【以】【没】【有】【这】【方】【面】【的】【顾】【虑】。【为】【怕】【误】【伤】，【她】【将】【黄】【金】【杀】【人】【柳】【战】【魂】【也】【收】【了】【起】【来】。 【当】【凤】【鸣】**【的】【进】【化】【者】【们】【冲】【过】【来】【的】【时】【候】，【张】【嘉】【玥】【已】【经】【追】【着】【那】【只】【变】【异】【老】【虎】【跑】【远】【了】，【除】
【云】【浅】【抬】【眼】【看】【向】**，【心】【中】【忍】【不】【住】【感】【叹】：【果】【然】【权】【利】【大】【了】【什】【么】【话】【都】【敢】【说】…… 【只】【听】【她】【道】：“【听】【闻】【如】【今】【府】【中】【持】【事】【的】【是】【程】【岚】【羽】？【这】【也】……【这】【也】【太】【不】【懂】【事】【了】，【哪】【儿】【有】【让】【妾】【侍】【把】【持】【中】【馈】【的】？【即】【便】【是】【表】【亲】【也】【不】【妥】，【除】【非】【家】【里】【是】【没】【了】【女】【主】【人】！” 【楚】【老】【太】【太】【斜】【看】【着】【她】，【半】【响】【才】【道】：“【媳】【妇】【进】【来】【确】【实】【身】【体】【不】【舒】【服】。”【忽】【而】【转】【头】【问】【云】【浅】，“
【奶】【奶】【脸】【上】【虽】【然】【一】【直】【笑】【容】【满】【面】，【但】【是】【依】【然】【掩】【饰】【不】【住】【淡】【淡】【的】【失】【落】。 【吃】【完】【了】【午】【饭】，【便】【是】【闲】【聊】【时】【间】，【爸】【爸】【跟】【二】【姑】【父】【聊】【着】【各】【种】【政】【策】，【二】【姑】【父】【还】【是】【透】【露】【了】【不】【少】【好】【消】【息】，【对】【个】【体】【户】【的】【一】【些】【利】【好】【政】【策】。 【这】【些】【对】【爸】【爸】【来】【说】，【真】【的】【是】【好】【消】【息】。 【奶】【奶】【跟】【二】【姑】【说】【起】【了】【大】【妈】【跟】【大】【姑】【跟】【她】【闹】【翻】【的】【事】【情】，【说】【到】【伤】【心】【的】【地】【方】，【奶】【奶】【忍】【不】【住】【的】【眼】【红】