BOSTON (CBS/AP) — Mary Fiumara, best known as the mother who called for her son to come home for dinner in a classic Prince pasta television commercial of the 1960s, has died at age 88.
Her son confirmed Wednesday that she had died a day earlier but didn’t reveal the cause of her death.
Fiumara is remembered for yelling “Anthony! Anthony!” from an open window of her apartment in Boston’s North End neighborhood in the iconic TV spot. Her son in the commercial, played by 12-year-old Anthony Martignetti, who also lived in the neighborhood, races through the city’s streets before arriving home in time for a spaghetti dinner. The ad declared Wednesday was Prince Spaghetti Day and aired for 13 years in the Northeast.
Martignetti told The Boston Globe that Fiumara was “a legend” in the neighborhood and that the commercial wouldn’t have worked without her.
“There wouldn’t be an Anthony without that voice,” he said.
Fiumara, who was born Mary Fronduto, lived in the neighborhood for more than 75 years. She was married to the late John Fiumara. She is survived by two sons, three grandchildren and a brother.
“She was such a nice lady and lived just a few doors down from me,” Martignetti told WBZ-TV.
“We weren’t actors, or part of the Screen Actors Guild,” Martignetti said. “We were just regular people from the neighborhood. That’s what made the commercial so good.”
Now in his fifties, Anthony no longer lives in the North End. But he always kept in touch with his “TV mom.”
“We stayed friends over the years. I would see her in restaurants or at festivals, and we always talked. God Bless her, she’s in a better place now.”
Prince is part of the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania-based New World Pasta Co. family of brands.
The brand, which originated on Prince Street in Boston, celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2013.
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