​Lucky Tony Danza


The kid from Brooklyn and aspiring boxer who became a TV favorite in "Taxi" and "Who's the Boss?" pulls no punches about his latest role in Broadway's "Honeymoon in Vegas."

CBS News

If you're a kid from Brooklyn, making it to a stage on Broadway can be a very long journey indeed. Tony Danza has done just that. He talks about his trip with "CBS This Morning"'s Gayle King in our Sunday Profile:

Throughout the 1980s, Tony Danza was a TV sensation, starring in back-to-back hit sitcoms -- first "Taxi," then "Who's the Boss?"

But for Danza, his love has been singing and dancing -- even taking a spin as Max Bialystock on Broadway in "The Producers" in 2006. It earned him a coveted caricature at New York's legendary restaurant, Sardi's.

"I love being next to Sammy Davis Jr.," he laughed. "That is cool!"

Now, at 63, Danza's one of the stars of Broadway's new musical, "Honeymoon in Vegas." "It gives me a chance to sing and to dance and to act and to be a little nefarious and be funny, all in one part," he said.

Tony Danza, Brynn O'Malley and Rob McClure in "Honeymoon in Vegas." "Honeymoon in Vegas"

It's based on the 1992 movie about a love triangle starring Nicolas Cage as Jack, Sarah Jessica Parker as his fiancée, and James Caan as Tommy Korman, a Vegas powerbroker.

On Broadway, Danza is in the role of Korman, who wants to win the heart of Jack's fiancée, Betsy.

Danza says he became sold on the project when he met with the composer: "He just showed me this little bit of a verse of a song called 'Out of the Sun,' which is one of my character's songs -- 'When we're young, we think that we're invincible.'"

Danza was born and raised Anthony Salvatore Iadanza in Brooklyn, New York. His father, Matty, was a sanitation worker, and his mother, Anne (a Sicilian immigrant), was a bookkeeper.

King asked, "Did you get into a lot of fights as a kid? Were you a bad kid?"

"No, I wasn't a bad kid. I was a good kid. But I had gotten in a lot of fights 'cause in the neighborhood I grew up in, that wasn't equated with bad behavior almost. I mean, we'd fought like it was another game. 'You wanna play stick ball today?' 'Nah, let's go fight.'"

His family moved to Long Island when Tony was 14. He performed in theater productions and went on to the University of Dubuque in Iowa, where he earned a degree in history.

He also married and had a son. He said he had Mark when he was 19 and a month: "He grew up great in spite of me!"

Still a fighter at heart, Tony turned to boxing, and with it came a new identity: "I had a manager who suggested that on the poster it would look better if it said, 'Tough Tony Danza,' instead of Tony Iadanza."

He hits the bags every day at a Manhattan fitness club.

In fact, Danza was discovered in 1977 while boxing at a gym in Brooklyn.

"A guy walks into the gym, he's a producer," Danza said. "Asked me if I ever thought about being on TV. I read for him."

"Had you thought about being on TV before that?"