The second of three sons born to Lithuanian immigrants, Bruno fell into acting in the 7th Grade as a student of St. George’s. At 19, VeSota enrolled in the Hobart Theatre of Chicago acquiring the fundamentals of performance, make-up, and direction. Directing Richard III out of the gate, he expanded to overseeing classics and light comedies on the stage. Shortly working for Lithuanian radio in the 40s, he advanced to English-Language radio and even provided the voice of Winston Churchill on air. Not long after VeSota joined the Actors Company of Chicago and wrote teleplays for WBKB-TV. In 1948, WGN hired him as a producer, director, and writer. He managed over 2,000 live television shows and acted in 200 of them. One They Stand Accused was the small screen’s first courtroom series running locally before going national.
Heading to Hollywood, he promptly was cast in films. The System (1953), The Wild One (1953), Bait (1954), Tennessee Champ (1954), Rails Into Laramie (1954), The Long Wait (1954), The Egyptian (1954), The Last Time I Saw Paris (1954), The Fast and the Furious (1954), Female Jungle (1955), Jupiter’s Darling (1955), Kismet (1955), Dementia (1955), Gunslinger (1956), The Oklahoma Woman (1956), The Undead (1957), Rock All Night (1957), Teenage Doll (1957), Carnival Rock (1957), Daddy-O (1958), War of the Satellites (1958), The Cry Baby Killer (1958), Hot Car Girl (1958), I Mobster (1959), The Wasp Woman (1959), A Bucket of Blood (1959), Attack of the Giant Leeches (1959), Valley of the Redwoods (1960), Code of Silence (1960), The Story of Ruth (1960), 20,000 Eyes (1961), Night Tide (1961), The Cat Burglar (1961), The Devil’s Hand (1961), Invasion of the Star Creatures (1962), Patty (1962), The Violent and the Damned (1962), The Haunted Palace (1963), Your Cheatin’ Heart (1964), Attack of the Mayan Mummy (1964), Curse of the Stone Hand (1965), The Curse on the Beach (1965), Creature of the Walking Dead (1965), The Wild Wild World of Batwoman (1966), Single Room Furnished (1966), Hells Angels on Wheels (1967), The Perils of Pauline (1967), The Last American Hobo (1967), A Man Called Dagger (1968), Wild Rovers (1971), The Million Dollar Duck (1971), Bunny O’Hare (1971).
He had TV roles on Passport to Danger, Death Valley Days, I Led 3 Lives, The Adventures of Jim Bowie, Tightrope, Mr. Lucky, Peter Gunn, The Tall Man, Leave It to Beaver, The Rebel, The Hathaways, Follow the Sun, The Untouchables, Rawhide, The Wild Wild West, My Mother the Car, Branded, Occasional Wife, Daniel Boone, Hondo, 21 episodes of Bonanza, Mission: Impossible, It Takes a Thief, Hogan’s Heroes, McMillan & Wife, Something Evil, Kojak. He directed 4 features. Writing two of them. Female Jungle, Dementia, The Brain Eaters (1958), and Invasion of the Star Creatures. He looked up to Orson Welles and Sydney Greenstreet and once said, “Acting is a child’s game. I don’t mean it’s childish, I mean it’s a child’s game. We more or less perpetuate our youth through acting. We’re always acting, we’re playing parts; we don’t want to face the reality of being ourselves. We’re the happiest when we’re acting. I think any actor would say that.”
VeSota graced 13 Corman pictures and figures into 5 MST3K experiments. He’s well thought of by MSTies and he’s a standout in movies otherwise dismissed. Gunslinger, The Undead, Daddy-O, Attack of the Giant Leeches, The Wild Wild World of Batwoman. Each of these are above average as riff fodder and he adds to the mix. Such intensity is unusual. Your eyes glide to him and he keeps them there. Those leeches have their suckers full and so do we. Filling or Feast?