The Wild Women (and men) of wongo

Kenneth Vitulli

Leave a comment

Kenneth and Joyce 2

Kenneth Vitulli and Joyce Nizzari in THE WILD WOMEN OF WONGO

 

Playing one of the handsome men of Goona was Kenneth Vitulli, born May 2, 1938 in New York. His parents were William and Rosaria “Sadie” Vitulli. Kenneth had two brothers, Willam S. and Clark J.

Kenneth and his family moved from New York to Palm Beach, Florida in 1946 and Kenneth attended Central Junior High School where he received an award for making a score of 92 out of 120 in Latin. He was also proclaimed “Boy of the Month” around this time (1951).

news clipping 1951

At Palm Beach High School in West Palm Beach he was elected Junior Class President in 1955 and got his first taste of acting when he appeared on-stage in the school’s production of CAROUSEL in 1956. After graduation he attended college and was runner-up in a Mr. Florida contest.

sid_308_1955_0082

 

After appearing in THE WILD WOMEN OF WONGO Kenneth appeared in at least two plays at The Lake Worth Playhouse in Lake Worth, Florida: ROOM SERVICE (in 1958) and COME BACK LITTLE SHEBA (in 1959). He then joined Cincinnati’s professional theatre group, Playhouse in the Park in 1960 after having auditioned for them in New York. While appearing there he lived in the Mt. Adams section of Cincinnati with roommates Dave Collard and David Rosnbaum, fellow actors at the Playhouse. The three appeared together in the Playhouse’s 1960 production of DEATH OF A SALESMAN. Vitulli also played Lentulas opposite John Hillerman’s Caesar in the theatre’s version of ANDROCLES AND THE LION.

That same year he was interviewed by the Cincinnati Enquirer where he mentions working on his first film: “I was studying pre-dentistry in college when I had a chance to go professional. It was in a movie, only a Grade-Z thriller, ‘Wild Women of Wong’, made in Miami. But once I found I could get paid $90 a day for doing what I liked I forgot all about being a dentist.

Additional quotes from the article:

This is a perfect place for actors. Picturesque, old, sort of a Greenwich Village. Mt. Adams residents take actors in stride. They aren’t disturbed even when we wear sunglasses on wintry days.

Actors have more emotions than anybody else or they wouldn’t be in the business

I like opening night best. Later performances may be more polished, but excitement comes when reviewers are there and you are wondering how things will go.

It’s a great feeling to create a part. When you know you’re doing pretty well there’s nothing like it.  You’re a step above life.”

In 1965 he starred as Steve in Boston’s North Shore Music Theater production of Show Boat which co-starred film actor Charles Watts as Captain Andy.

In the late 1980s Kenneth worked in the Home Improvement section of the Fort Lauderdale Sears while appearing occasionally as an actor on television shows like B.L. STYRKER and MIAMI VICE which were filmed in Florida. He later worked in the automobile industry.

Kenneth currently resides in Florida City, Florida.

 

Ken Vitulli Miami Vice Lost Madonna

Kenneth Vitulli (far right) in a scene from the TV show MIAMI VICE.

 

 

 

 

Author: Mike Barnum

I am a lifelong lover of films, with a taste for movies of all genres, new and old, as well as pop culture from around the world. I currently write for the U.S. based film magazines CLASSIC IMAGES and FILMS OF THE GOLDEN AGE and have also been published in FILMFAX, SCARLET STREET, and VIDEO WATCHDOG.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s