Lou Nova
Lou Nova aka Cosmic punch was an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

Boxing, also called pugilism, is a combat sport in which two people fight each other using their fists. Boxing is supervised by a referee over a series of between one to three minute intervals called rounds...

 and actor
An actor is a person who acts in a dramatic production and who works in film, television, theatre, or radio in that capacity...

. Born in Los Angeles
Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles , with a population at the 2010 United States Census of 3,792,621, is the most populous city in California, USA and the second most populous in the United States, after New York City. It has an area of , and is located in Southern California...

, California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

, the 6 foot Nova was the U.S.
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 and World Amateur Boxing Champion in 1935. After turning pro, he remained undefeated in his first 22 matches, and won 40 fights in total. He was the first top rated boxer to practice yoga
Yoga is a physical, mental, and spiritual discipline, originating in ancient India. The goal of yoga, or of the person practicing yoga, is the attainment of a state of perfect spiritual insight and tranquility while meditating on Supersoul...

, and reportedly did headstands in the dressing room before his title bout with Joe Louis.

Boxing career

In 1938, Nova gained an upset win over Britain's Tommy Farr
Tommy Farr
Thomas George Farr was one of the most famous Welsh and British boxers of all time. Born in Clydach Vale, Wales and nicknamed "the Tonypandy Terror", he became British and Empire heavyweight champion on 15 March 1937. Prior to 1936, he had boxed in the light heavyweight division in which he was...

 in a 15-round decision. Nova had Farr near a knockout in the 14th round when Referee Eddie Josephs started counting as he lay in the ropes. However, Farr resumed the fight after the count reached two. Both men were in a state of exhaustion in the last round. This fight put Nova on the American boxing map as a potential heavyweight title contender.

He went on to defeat Max Baer in the first televised heavyweight prizefight June 1, 1939, on WNBT-TV in New York
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

. The left side of Baer's face was battered out of shape after ten rounds of the most excruciating fighting he had ever undergone, and was bleeding so severely from a severe laceration of the lower lip he could hardly breathe when the referee stopped the bout. Nova beat Baer again in 1941, although Nova was knocked down for a brief one count in the 4th from a Baer right hand. Baer was subsequently knocked down by a right for a nine count. After he got up he was knocked down again by a right hand. Referee Donovan stopped the bout when the count was at two.

Nova was injured badly in a fight with Tony Galento
Tony Galento
Domenico Antonio Galento was an American heavyweight boxer. Nicknamed "Two Ton" for his reasoning to his manager for being nearly late to one of his fights: "I had two tons of ice to deliver on my way here". Galento was one of the most colorful fighters in the history of the sport...

 and was treated in hospital, almost losing an eye.

On September 29, 1941 he fought Joe Louis
Joe Louis
Joseph Louis Barrow , better known as Joe Louis, was the world heavyweight boxing champion from 1937 to 1949. He is considered to be one of the greatest heavyweights of all time...

 for the heavyweight title. Nova was knocked down once in the 6th round. Nova made a poor showing. According to Nat Fleischer (The Ring, December 1941, page 4) he didn't win a round and took a terrible beating in the sixth round. The end was somewhat controversial because the fight was stopped with just one second left in the round when Nova arose unsteadily from the knockdown.

Nova went on to box four more years, losing bouts to Lee Savold
Lee Savold
Lee Savold was a heavyweight boxer who held the British and European version of the World Heavyweight championship between 1950 and 1951 and was a leading contender in the forties and early fifties....

, Tami Mauriello, Lee Oma, and Joe Baksi
Joe Baksi
Joe Baksi was a top heavyweight contender who defeated fighters such as Tami Mauriello, Lee Savold, Lou Nova, and Freddie Mills, while losing decisions to Jersey Joe Walcott and Ezzard Charles.-Background:...


Acting career

After leaving the fight ring, he became an actor. His motion picture
A film, also called a movie or motion picture, is a series of still or moving images. It is produced by recording photographic images with cameras, or by creating images using animation techniques or visual effects...

 debut was as Kid Mandell in MGM
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. is an American media company, involved primarily in the production and distribution of films and television programs. MGM was founded in 1924 when the entertainment entrepreneur Marcus Loew gained control of Metro Pictures, Goldwyn Pictures Corporation and Louis B. Mayer...

's Swing Fever (1943
1943 in film
The year 1943 in film involved some significant events.-Events:* January 3 - 1st missing persons telecast * February 20 - American film studio executives agree to allow the Office of War Information to censor films....

) starring Kay Kyser
Kay Kyser
James Kern Kyser was a popular bandleader and radio personality of the 1930s and 1940s.-Early years:He was born in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, the son of pharmacists Paul Bynum Kyser and Emily Royster Kyser. Editor Vermont C. Royster was his cousin...

 and Marilyn Maxwell
Marilyn Maxwell
Marilyn Maxwell , born Marvel Marilyn Maxwell, was an American actress and entertainer.Noted for her blonde hair and sexually alluring persona, she appeared in several films and radio programs, and entertained the troops during World War II and the Korean War on USO tours with Bob Hope.-Career:She...

. Other movie roles include that as Hubert in the 20th Century Fox
20th Century Fox
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation — also known as 20th Century Fox, or simply 20th or Fox — is one of the six major American film studios...

 film noir
Film noir
Film noir is a cinematic term used primarily to describe stylish Hollywood crime dramas, particularly those that emphasize cynical attitudes and sexual motivations. Hollywood's classic film noir period is generally regarded as extending from the early 1940s to the late 1950s...

Crime film
Crime films are films which focus on the lives of criminals. The stylistic approach to a crime film varies from realistic portrayals of real-life criminal figures, to the far-fetched evil doings of imaginary arch-villains. Criminal acts are almost always glorified in these movies.- Plays and films...

Drama film
A drama film is a film genre that depends mostly on in-depth development of realistic characters dealing with emotional themes. Dramatic themes such as alcoholism, drug addiction, infidelity, moral dilemmas, racial prejudice, religious intolerance, poverty, class divisions, violence against women...

 Somewhere in the Night (1946
1946 in film
The year 1946 in film involved some significant events.-Events:*November 21 - William Wyler's The Best Years of Our Lives premieres in New York featuring an ensemble cast including Fredric March, Myrna Loy, Dana Andrews, Teresa Wright, and Harold Russell.*December 20 - Frank Capra's It's a...

) starring John Hodiak
John Hodiak
John Hodiak was an American actor who worked in radio and film.-Early life:He was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the son of Walter Hodiak and Anna Pogorzelec . He was of Ukrainian and Polish descent...


Nova acted in over 20 movies. He appeared in one stage
Theatre is a collaborative form of fine art that uses live performers to present the experience of a real or imagined event before a live audience in a specific place. The performers may communicate this experience to the audience through combinations of gesture, speech, song, music or dance...

 role, that as O'Malley in the Broadway
Broadway theatre
Broadway theatre, commonly called simply Broadway, refers to theatrical performances presented in one of the 40 professional theatres with 500 or more seats located in the Theatre District centered along Broadway, and in Lincoln Center, in Manhattan in New York City...

 play The Happiest Millionaire (1956) starring Walter Pidgeon
Walter Pidgeon
Walter Davis Pidgeon was a Canadian actor, who starred in many motion pictures, including Mrs...

, which ran for 271 performances, in which Nova performed the popular baseball
Baseball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of nine players each. The aim is to score runs by hitting a thrown ball with a bat and touching a series of four bases arranged at the corners of a ninety-foot diamond...

 poem Casey at the Bat
Casey at the Bat
"Casey at the Bat: A Ballad of the Republic Sung in the Year 1888" is a baseball poem written in 1888 by Ernest Thayer. First published in The San Francisco Examiner on June 3, 1888, it was later popularized by DeWolf Hopper in many vaudeville performances.The poem was originally published...

. Nova's guest spots on TV
Television program
A television program , also called television show, is a segment of content which is intended to be broadcast on television. It may be a one-time production or part of a periodically recurring series...

 include Space Patrol
Space Patrol
Space Patrol has been the title of several science fiction works:*Space Patrol , the United States 1950s TV series with a concurrent radio version...

, Hopalong Cassidy
Hopalong Cassidy
Hopalong Cassidy is a fictional cowboy hero created in 1904 by the author Clarence E. Mulford, who wrote a series of popular short stories and twenty-eight novels based on the character....

, General Electric Theater
General Electric Theater
General Electric Theater is an American anthology series hosted by Ronald W. Reagan that was broadcast on CBS radio and television. The series was sponsored by General Electric's Department of Public Relations.-Radio:...

, 77 Sunset Strip
77 Sunset Strip
77 Sunset Strip is an hour-length American television private detective series created by Roy Huggins and starring Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., Roger Smith, and Edd Byrnes....

, Shotgun Slade
Shotgun Slade
Shotgun Slade is an American western television series starring Scott Brady that aired in syndication from October 24, 1959, until 1961. Created by Frank Gruber, the stories were written by John Berardino, Charissa Hughes, and Martin Berkeley...

and Get Smart
Get Smart
Get Smart is an American comedy television series that satirizes the secret agent genre. Created by Mel Brooks with Buck Henry, the show starred Don Adams , Barbara Feldon , and Edward Platt...



He was inducted into World Boxing Hall of Fame
World Boxing Hall of Fame
The World Boxing Hall of Fame is located in Riverside, California, United States, in Southern California. The WBHF is one of two recognized international boxing halls of fame with the other being the International Boxing Hall of Fame , with the IBHOF being the more widely recognized...

 in 1991, and into the Sacramento City College
Sacramento City College
Sacramento City College is a two-year community college located in Sacramento, California. SCC is part of the Los Rios Community College District and had an enrollment of 25,307 in 2009. Sacramento City College is officially accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges , offering...

 Athletic Hall of Fame in 1999.

Lou Nova died at age 78 in Sacramento, California
Sacramento, California
Sacramento is the capital city of the U.S. state of California and the county seat of Sacramento County. It is located at the confluence of the Sacramento River and the American River in the northern portion of California's expansive Central Valley. With a population of 466,488 at the 2010 census,...


External links

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