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Who's the Book Boss? Tony Danza to Appear at Brooklyn Book Festival

By Leslie Albrecht | September 5, 2012 9:29am

BROOKLYN — When it comes to books, Tony Danza's the boss.

The actor, best known for his role as the dim-witted but loveable Tony Micelli on TV's "Who's the Boss," will reveal his previously hidden literary side at this year's Brooklyn Book Festival, where some of the country's best-known authors will gather on Sunday, Sept. 23.

The free event, organized by Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, brings together literary talent for a day of readings and panels on topics ranging from "The Politics of Identity — Do They Still Matter?" and "Humanity in the Age of the Cyborg and Higgs Boson."

Danza's name is nestled within the high-caliber lineup alongside authors Paul Auster, Colson Whitehead, Edwidge Danticat, former U.S. Poet Laureate Philip Levine and rumored Nobel Prize short-lister Joyce Carol Oates.

Danza will appear with Markowitz for a one-on-one conversation on the festival's main stage at Brooklyn Borough Hall.

The session, entitled, "Tony Danza Apologizes to Teachers," is based on Danza's new book "I'd Like to Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had," a nonfiction account of his time spent as a rookie teacher in Philadelphia. The experience was filmed for the A&E reality show, "Teach: Tony Danza," which one reviewer praised as "subtle and affecting."

Danza, a Brooklyn native who has appeared at events with Markowitz in the past, mentioned his new tome to the borough president, who invited the actor to the festival.

Markowitz said Danza's "passion" about his teaching experience should make for an engaging conversation.

"It's easy to criticize teachers and our educational system, but until you have done the job, you don't realize the challenges in making sure our kids reach the zenith of their potential," Markowitz said in an emailed statement.

"It's a very important conversation, and Tony has just the right amount of charisma and Brooklyn attitude to make this one of the more interesting events of the Festival."

Danza's teaching trial by fire may have also awakened political aspirations. The actor, who also starred in "Taxi," recently disclosed that he's considered running for mayor. "I'm of a certain age, and you see things, and you think maybe you could help," Danza, 61, told the Wall Street Journal at the premiere of "Premium Rush". "You say: 'Let me fix the city. Let me run for Mayor.'"

Markowitz did not comment on Danza's possible mayoral run.