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Spinal Cord Infection Ends Porky’s Actor, Tony Ganios’ Life

Actor Tony Ganios has passed away aged 64.  He is best known for playing Anthony Meat Tuperello in the 1981 comedy ‘Porky’s’ and his role as a mercenary in Die Hard 2 alongside Bruce Willis among other films and shows. 

According to his fiancée Amanda’s post on X, Tony could have been suffering from a spinal cord infection for a long time as he hid it from her and only mentioned he was unwell after several days. When he finally shared with her, he was taken to a hospital in New York on Saturday and diagnosed with a severe spinal cord infection. 

He was taken in for an emergency four-hour surgery that went well.  However, the next morning, on his way to recovery from the surgery, he went on dialysis and tragically suffered a fatal cardiac arrest. He was also experiencing organ failure.

What exactly is Spinal Cord Infection?

According to the AANS (American Association of Neurological Surgeons), spinal infection is an infection caused by bacteria or fungal organism in another part of the body that carries it into the spine through the bloodstream.  The most common source of these infections is from a bacterium known as Staphylococcus aureus followed by Escherichia coli.

These infections can be classified by the anatomical location like the vertebral column, intervertebral disc space, the spinal canal, and adjacent tissues.

Spinal infection is more common than we know with vertebral osteomyelitis being the most common affecting an estimated 26,170 to 65,400 people annually.

 Epidural abscess is slightly rare with about 2 cases per 10,000 people but always affects those suffering from disc space and vertebral column

Studies suggest that spinal infections are currently increasing with the spike related to increased use of vascular devices and a rise in intravenous drug abuse.

 As the cases spike, treatment has also improved greatly in recent years.  However, the death rate from spinal infections remain at an estimated 20%. 

Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent the infection from progressing and limit the degree of intervention required to treat it.  Delay causes the infection to progress causing irreversible damage to boney and soft tissue structures of and around the spine.

Late Intervention

Tony’s passing was abrupt, possibly stemming from delayed medical intervention. Amanda says his death was so sudden and has shattered her completely as they were just planning their wedding last week.  They had been together as a couple for 9 years. 

She posted a sweet tribute on her page, “The last words we said to each other were, “I love you.” Love is an understatement.  You are everything to me.  My heart, my soul, and my best friend….”

More about Actor Tony Ganios

Tony was born on October 21, 1959 in Brooklyn, New York.  He was recognized for his roles in 1980s teen comedies and action films. 

The Brooklyn-born actor was best known for playing the role of tough guy Perry in The Wanderers, a 1979 film. He broke the record for his role of Anthony Meat Tuperello in the 1980s comedy trilogy – Porky’s, Porky’s II, and Porky’s-The Revenge. 

This Hollywood actor is also known for his recurring comedic role as a muscular mob lawyer on the Emmy Award-winning series ‘Wiseguy’ in 1987. He appeared in five episodes of this TV series as Mike ‘Mooch’ Cacciatore. 

In 1990, he played the role of Baker in Die Hard 2 and in 1993, he starred in the Rising Sun film.

Other movies he starred in include Continental Divide, Body Rock, The Taking of Beverly Hills, among others. He was also in shows such as The Ring of Musketeers, The Equalizer, and Scarecrow and Mrs. King.

Tony semi-retired from acting after the 1993’s ‘Rising Sun’ buddy cop film alongside Wesley Snipes and the late Sir Sean Connery.  

Though he appears to have left showbiz early 90’s, he certainly left a mark on pop culture.

Talking to Cult Faction in 2015, he mentioned that though he missed acting and the entire entertainment industry, it would be difficult for him to get back into the industry and succeed.

Fans and colleagues have expressed their heartfelt condolences online remembering Tony for his humor and warm personality.

His death leaves a void in the hearts of his loved ones, those who knew him personally, and those who enjoyed his work.

RIP Tony Gainos!

Kenyalogue Contributor

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