May 9, 2012

Italian / American Television Star & Baseball Player: John Berardino

Giovanni Berardino was born May 1, 1917 in Los Angeles California. He was a child actor that appeared in some of the classic Our Gang episodes but no credits are mentioned on any existing films. He eventually turned to baseball and played on the USC baseball team in the 1930s.

He was signed by the St. Louis Brown as a middle infielder making his debut in the 1939 season. He would play for the Browns for six seasons, coming in last place five times. In 1940 he had his best season with a career high 16 HRs & drove in 85 runs (2nd best on the team). He followed that up with a career high 89 RBIs in 1941 and a .271 batting average. In each of those two seasons he also hit over 30 doubles and struck out very rarely.


In 1942 he went off to the military serving in World War II & returning to baseball four years later. 1946 was his last full season & his last with the Browns, as he hit .265 with 5 HRs & 68 RBIs. He was traded to Cleveland in 1948 & although he only batted .190 in 66 games he went from last place to a World Series championship with the ’48 Indians. He injured his leg and his playing days were over by 1952 after 11 seasons. In an eleven season playing career he batted .249 lifetime with 755 hits 167 doubles 36 HRs & 387 RBIs in 912 games played.


After baseball he became a successful actor starting out in a guest role in “The Adventures of Superman” & as a state trooper in Frank Sinatra’s 1954 thriller Suddenly. That movie also starred Sterling Hayden, Officer McClusky in the Godfather. After appearing in dozens of B movies, he got the role of Dr. Steve Hardy in a new soap Opera called General Hospital in 1963. He would play the part for 36 years until his passing in 1996 of pancreatic cancer.

Honors: Berardino has a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame & is a member of the USC Athletic Hall of Fame. He is the only player to have a star on Hollywood Blvd. & win a World Series. His image on the opening of General Hospital remained on the show’s opening clip until 2004.

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