Vincent Sardi Jr., owner of Sardi's, dies

Jan. 4, 2007 at 8:52 PM
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NEW YORK, Jan. 4 (UPI) -- Vincent Sardi Jr., owner of the New York restaurant and Broadway landmark that his father founded, died Thursday at 91.

Sean Ricketts, Sardi's nephew and a manager at the restaurant, told the New York Times his uncle suffered from a urinary tract infection. Sardi had lived in Warren, Vt., since retiring almost 10 years ago and was hospitalized in Berlin, Vt.

Sardi's parents first became involved with the theater when they took in actors as boarders in their apartment on West 56th Street. In 1921, the elder Sardi opened The Little Restaurant on West 44th Street, but the actors and other theater people who hung out there quickly renamed it Sardi's.

After serving as an officer in the Marines during World War II, Sardi Jr. took over the family business when his father retired in 1947.

A press agent, Richard Maney, described Sardi's as "the club, mess hall, lounge, post office, saloon and marketplace of the people of the theater."

Sardi carried out-of-work actors and sometimes tried to seat those who needed work near producers who were casting. He saw every play on Broadway and made his headwaiters do the same so they could recognize everyone in the cast.

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