Local News

Family announces death of Anthony Martignetti, who starred in iconic 1969 Prince Spaghetti commercial

Anthony Martignetti, known for his iconic appearance in a 1969 commercial for Prince Spaghetti, passed away in his sleep overnight, his family announced Monday.

“It is with a heavy and hurting heart that we announce to our family and friends that our brother Anthony J. Martignetti passed away suddenly in his sleep last night,” Andy Martignetti wrote in a statement on Facebook. “None of us have accepted this yet and I don’t know when we will. RIP little brother, till we meet again, I love you.”

It is with a heavy and hurting heart that we announce to our family and friends that our brother Anthony J. Martignetti…

Posted by Andy Martignetti on Sunday, August 23, 2020

Anthony Martingnetti was 63, according to The Boston Globe

The Boston resident was 12 years old when he was cast in the 1969 ad for Prince, which would go on to run for 13 years.

In it, Martingnetti is seen running through the streets of the North End, rushing home for his Wednesday night pasta dinner as his television mother calls, “Anthony! Anthony!” 


“Anthony Martignetti lives in Boston, on Prince Street in the Italian North End, the home for more than 50 years of Prince Spaghetti Company,” the narrator tells viewers. “Anthony knows a lot about local Italian customs. And he knows a lot about Prince, because that’s a local custom, too. Prince is more than just authentic. It’s something that grows you. With wheat germ energy other pastas leave out. Most days, Anthony takes his time going home, but not today. Today is Wednesday. And as every family in the North End of Boston will tell you, Wednesday is Prince Spaghetti day.”

Last year, on the 50th anniversary of the commercial’s airing, Martignetti told the Globe that he became used to being recognized for his role in the ad through the years. 

“I always understood that it was larger than me, that I had a responsibility to preserve what that commercial meant to people,” Martignetti told the newspaper in 2019. “I knew that if I got in trouble, little Anthony from the spaghetti commercial would be all over the paper.”

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