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Why The Stage Name, Tony Denison?

Why The Stage Name, Tony Denison?

Darrell Fusaro (June 6, 2010)

Tony Denison, born Anthony John Sarrero, speaks candidly about his Italian heritage, his mom's sage advice about the neighborhood gangsters and how he became, "Tony Denison."


It is a real pleasure to spend time with Tony Denison.   Although he is well known in Hollywood for being cast as a no-nonsense tough guy; in person, Tony is a generous man with a humble heart. 

What I like most about Tony is the fact that every time I see him he has something encouraging to say.  And he is always available to share his experience in order to benefit others.  Matter of fact, just this past year, his experience has benefited me tremendously. 

About a year ago Tony was the guest on an episode of "The Method Actor Speaks, with John Solari," a show I was directing.  I hadn't seen him for about six months prior to that.  He looked fantastic.  Not that Tony could ever look bad, but it was obvious he had lost a little weight.  When I complimented him, he told me that he recently lost 10 to 15 lbs.   Of course I had to ask, "How'd you do it?"

His response, "I just started chewing my food."


"Yeah, remember when we were kids and they used to say, 'chew your food 32 times, once for every tooth in your head?' that's it."

That perfect and profoundly simple east-coast common sense philosophy, dispensed with sincerity, always gets my attention.  Best of all - it really works!  Within a month and a half I had dropped fifteen pounds and have been at my high school weight ever since.

"Besides that," Tony went on to say, "I get to enjoy my food more now that I chew it, than when I was shoveling it down."  I have to agree.

In this video segment of "Cafe Americano," it is obvious the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, as you hear Tony share his mom's sage advice about the neighborhood gangsters.   Tony grew up in a predominately Italian neighborhood in New York, a first generation Italian-American, born to Sicilian parents.  When you get to know Tony, it's obvious that the respect and love he has for his family and his Italian heritage is immense.  So it makes you wonder; why then take a stage name?  Tony's explanation for doing so is a testimony to the spirit of generosity, love and appreciation that his parents instilled in him.

A dynamic person is someone who positively affects the lives of those they come in contact with.  They don't do it in a bombastic fashion but gently,  just by the sincerity of their character.  Tony Denison is a dynamic guy I am happy to have crossed paths with.

Tony Denison, pictured here on the right, as Detective Andy Flynn
in a scene from, "The Closer."


Tony Denison, is one of the Emmy nominated ensemble cast members of the hit show, “The Closer,”  which returns for another season this July 12, 9pm/8pm Central, on TNT.

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