His family relocated to Malverne, NY when Danza was 14. He graduated in 1968 from Malverne High School. and attended the University of Dubuque, graduating with a degree in history. He attended college at least in part on a wrestling scholarship.
Upon graduation, Danza met and married his first wife, and was a Professional Boxer for a time. He was discovered in a NY Boxing gym by a producer, and was cast in his first role, Tony Banta on the television series Taxi, appearing in all five seasons. He then had additional success starring in the eight season, Who's the Boss?