‘Porky’s’ And ‘The Wanderers’ Star Has Passed Away

Tony Ganios, beloved for his role as Meat in the iconic Porky’s films, has recently passed away at the age of 64. His fiancée, Amanda Serrano-Ganios, shared the heartbreaking news on Monday night, disclosing that Ganios succumbed to complications following surgery for a spinal infection on the morning of February 18, 2024.

In a poignant social media post, Serrano-Ganios expressed her grief, stating, “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. #ILoveYou #TonyGanios.”

She further revealed the swift progression of the situation, sharing, “It’s just unreal to me right now. It was so fast. He hadn’t felt well and hid it from me for days. When he finally told me and was taken to the hospital, his spinal cord was severely infected. They did surgery, next morning, his heart stopped. I’m crushed.”

Rest In Peace, Buddy ….. I love you. #tonyganios pic.twitter.com/bGLC13mG5s

— Ken Wahl (@KenWahl1) February 20, 2024

Speaking exclusively to PEOPLE, Serrano-Ganios expressed the depth of her sorrow, saying, “I’m just completely empty inside now. He was my best friend, my soul mate. I just love him so much.”

Born in Brooklyn, Ganios marked his onscreen debut as Perry in the 1979 coming-of-age film The Wanderers, a role that reunited him with Ken Wahl in the ’80s crime series Wiseguy. Paying tribute to his late friend, Wahl shared a heartfelt message on social media, “Rest In Peace, Buddy… I love you.”

Ganios’ career continued to flourish with notable roles in films such as Back Roads, Continental Divide, and the cult classic Porky’s in 1981. The success of Porky’s turned it into a teen sex comedy franchise, with Ganios reprising his role in Porky’s II: The Next Day (1983) and Porky’s Revenge (1985).

His diverse filmography also includes appearances in Body Rock (1984), Die Hard 2 (1990), The Taking of Beverly Hills (1991), and Rising Sun (1993). Transitioning to television, Ganios contributed to projects like Wiseguy, the TV movie Ring of the Musketeers, and had roles in series such as The Equalizer and Scarecrow and Mrs. King.

Which Tony Ganios performance resonates with you the most, and how did it impact your cinematic experience?