Gary Maresca, January 1, 1948 – November 16, 2010

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gary_susan

Incredibly, devastatingly horrible news: after a battle with pancreatic cancer, Gary Maresca died yesterday at the age of 62. Gary is best known for his time on Frank the Entertainer in A Basement Affair, on which he advised his son alongside his wife, Susan. Gary leaves behind Susan and five children, including Frank and Sal, who were also on the show. We’ll be hearing more from the Maresca family in the coming days. In the meantime, the family requests that those interested in sending flowers instead donate money to the Lustgarten Foundation, which is devoted research of and finding a cure for pancreatic cancer.

I only spoke to Gary briefly, but way before that even, his love for his wife and children was evident. He really rooted for Frank, and I could tell that he got a kick out of Frank’s time on reality TV. Gary was sick for a while, but it always struck me as special that he was able to see Frank get his own show, and participate in it. I know that he was proud.

Here’s what he told me in March when I asked him about filming a show while sick:

“I always would have liked to have been in this kind of atmosphere and get a chance to get on television, and because of Frank I got my chance. Even as a kid, it was something that I dreamed to do, but when the time came, I was thinking of not even doing it and just letting my wife go. She didn’t want to leave me home alone because I really wasn’t in shape to stay here alone. The producers were really nice to me, but I still felt obligated there. I’m not sorry I did it, though. For my children, all my children, my wife and I have sacrificed. The only thing in my legacy when I’m gone is that I’ve always been a good family man. I love Frankie.”

  1. Renee says:

    Gary was a wonderful person, and his love for his family shown through every television. He will be greatly missed, and is a prime example of how special the Maresca family is.

  2. Donna says:

    OMG!! This is so sad!!! My mother passed away 5 days before my 12th birthday so I understand the feeling of losing a parent. From the bottom of my heart, i’m sorry for your loss Frank and the entire Maresca family. God Bless you all in this difficult time.

  3. Laureen says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with the Maresca family. Although I was only a fan of the show….it was clear that this was a happy & loving family. May their memories help them through the hard times.

  4. JoAnna says:

    Thank you for posting this…certainly shows you at least acknowledge that your highest-ratings shows did exist. RIP Gary, and my condolences to Frank and the rest of the family.

  5. Sal says:

    I’m proud to say my father made me the man I am today. I will miss him dearly but there is no doubt that through me and my siblings he will live on. Thank you so much for writing this Rich. My father would love this.

  6. Tommy says:

    This is so sad! RIP! I loved him on Basement affair he was hilarious! So sad that he is gone. Best regards to Frank and Susan and the rest of the Maresca family.

  7. Susan Maresca says:

    Thank you so much Rich for this beautiful tribute to my husband. He was a wonderful caring man to everyone he met. My heart is broken and I don’t know how I can go on without him after 43 years of doing everything together.Thank God I have 5 children who are always there for me and in time I will be alright. Thank you everyone for your good wishes.

  8. sean says:

    I am so sorry to hear this. I saw him briefly on a I love Money rerun last week and thought I hope he is doing better. From what I can tell Great man Great father and I know he was a great on TV. God bless you and your family!!!

  9. Katie says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about this. I agree that it was clear that Gary and his family loved eachother.

  10. Jenna says:

    I am so sad to read about this. :( It was fun watching him and his wife do commentary on Frank’s show. Gary seemed like a really good man and a good parent. My thoughts and prayers are with the family! R.I.P <3

  11. Blaze says:

    R.I.P buddy

  12. Andy S. aka 'O' says:

    He was so funny and sweet and I loved how he balanced out his wife so perfectly. May he rest in peace.

  13. Robeana1 says:

    This is sad. He will now be a Guardian Angel to his wife and children. He really was funny and I’m glad he got to be part of Frank’s show. At least he was able to see and his son get his own show. You could tell he loved his family very much. I was looking forward to seeing him on the 2nd show. I enjoyed reading his interview about being on the show. He will always live in his family’s hearts and memories. My condolences are with everyone.

  14. toogie says:

    To the Maresca family, I am so sorry for the loss of Mr. Maresca. He was such a sincere, family loving, charming and funny man. Anyone would hope to have such a man for a father. God Bless You.

  15. Deb says:

    I am proud to say that he was my brother! He was truly a good family man, he loved people and loved to make them laugh!! I truly will miss him very much!!! I am very sad, but also blessed that I had him for a brother!! I love you Gary forever and ever!! xxoo

  16. julissa says:

    sorry for your loss frank and to the entire maresca family your in my prayers and im sure u made your father very proud

  17. KEISHAV says:

    So sorry to hear about your father passing. My condolences to The Entertainer and family. Especially his mother.

  18. MeL says:

    Really sad to read this. I watched the show; and actually feel in love with his parents and there relationship! I lost my father years ago but the lost of a parent is one of the greatest lost you can experience. May God Bless you and your Family at this time.

  19. kristie says:

    a verry big hug for Frank and his family, i lost my mom alittle more than a year ago and the first year especially around the holidays are the worst, but always think of your father and the great man that he showed that he was to the world. Always get together and laugh together as a family and your dad will still live on with the wonderful memories. My deepest sympothies to you Frank, hang in there bud.

  20. jennifer says:

    I am sorry for your loss!! My prayers are with you!!

  21. Boo says:

    OMG! I’m sorry to hear about Gary…..your Dad seems so cool and funny. My Mom passed away 6yrs ago from Breast Cancer and I still miss my Mom everyday, every minute, every second of the day. My thoughts and prayers goes out to the Maresca Family. Mrs. Maresca, whenever you see the sun shinning so brightly that’s Gary smiling down on you…..when the moon is brighter than ever before, that’s Gary watching over you making sure your not in the dark. Mrs. Maresca you are a strong woman and I know you will get through these tough times. Sending Blessings to you and your Family.

  22. Stephanie says:

    Heeeyyy im really sorry 4 your lose. I wish your dad could still be there for you. He’ll be greatly missed. Stay strong & keep your head up! Good luck to all yall & remember that we all still love you :). Again im really sorry for the lost of your dad.

  23. Brandie says:

    My condolences to the Maresca family. I lost my father 5 years ago and know how devastating a loss it is. My prayers and thoughts are with you at this sad time.

  24. Merabel says:

    This is so tragic, I completely loved watching Mr. Maresca on the show. He was the epitome of the ultimate dad. So sorry for the loss, he definitely must be in heaven looking down over his family. Sorry to hear, truly some sad news.

  25. Patty says:

    To the Maresca family my prayers go out to all of you… when I saw Franks show I remember thinking what awesome parents he has they seem so loving, caring and just wanted the best for his son.

  26. Mai says:

    Oh no! I had tears reading this .. :’(
    ~R.I.P Gary Maresca~

  27. smps says:

    He seemed like a great man, may god have him in his glory and he is now watching over his wife and children. Condolences to the family.. Stay strong. RIP Gary..

  28. Mark G says:

    Oh man,damn!I’m sorry to hear ’bout this,Frank.My wishes goes out to you,man.Stay strong.

  29. Jo says:

    I was sorry to read this. I had somehow missed the last few shows & never even knew what happened or who got picked. Frank’s dad was a hoot & I always enjoyed his screen time. My prayers are with the Maresca family.

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  34. jaybird369 says:

    Frank and Miss Susan, my condolences and all to you both and the rest of your family on losing Mr. Gary to cancer. I lost my mom to cancer on November 6, 2003. For me, it’s hard to believe that it’s gonna be 8 years this November that my mom’s been gone. Time flies, but not always for the better. Frank, I have been a BIG fan of yours since I Love New York season 1. I will continue to keep all of you wonderful Marescas in my thoughts and prayers. Frank, stay strong, dude!!!

  35. tina says:

    Im so sorry about the loss! RIP Gary!