The actor is best known for playing Det. Phil Fish on TV's "Barney Miller" in the 1970s as well as Sal Tessio in "The Godfather." In the 1980s, People magazine mistakenly reported his death, and his status as alive or dead has turned into a pop culture joke over the years, perpetuated by the actor himself on late-night talk shows with David Letterman and Conan O'Brien.
And the Internet has taken up his cause, with the website www.abevigoda.com, for instance, which simply gives his life status.
Today, he's alive.