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NAMES IN THE NEWS : Movie Pains Reformed Hit Man

April 10, 1990|From Times Wire Services

ALLENTOWN, Pa. — The black comedy "I Love You to Death" about Frances Toto's efforts to kill her husband, Tony, is no laughing matter for a hit man portrayed in the film by River Phoenix.

Toto spent four years in prison for the attempts on her husband's life. The Totos then reunited and sold the rights to their story to a production company for an undisclosed sum.

Tracey Ullman and Kevin Kline star as the Totos. Phoenix plays a character based on the hit man, Anthony Bruno.

"The problem I have with it is I have to live every day of my life knowing I tried to hurt someone. To me, that is no joke," Bruno said.

Bruno, 28, was released on parole Jan. 1 after serving 5 1/2 years in prison for trying to murder Toto, a former pizza shop owner from Allentown.

He said he is angry that the Totos seem to be capitalizing on the crimes.

"Frances is going on talk shows now. She sits there and laughs. This has ruined my life," said Bruno.

"I'm definitely a different person," Bruno said. "I've matured a lot."

"After spending 5 1/2 years in prison, you realize things aren't a joke," he said.

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