This one hurts. Legendary character actor Jon Polito, known best for his supporting roles in Coen brothers films like Barton Fink, Miller’s Crossing, The Man Who Wasn’t There and The Big Lebowski, has passed away. He was 65.
Polito starred in over 100 films and dozens of TV shows and Broadway productions, Vulture reports. His other credits including his role in Homicide: Life on the Street, as well as guest turns on popular shows like Seinfeld, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Modern Family, Bunheads, Comedy Bang! Bang!, Raising the Bar, Monk, Medium, Masters of Horror, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Gilmore Girls, The Chronicle, The Drew Carey Show, Roseanne, Mad About You, The Equalizer, Tales From the Crypt, Crime Story and Murder, She Wrote, just to name a handful. He’ll certainly be missed.
Polito’s death was announced by John McNaughton, the director behind Wild Things and Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, on his Facebook page. He wrote the following regarding his friend’s passing.
Very sad to learn that my dear friend and collaborator, Jon Polito has passed away. John is probably best known for his work in Coen Brothers films, notably Barton Fink, Miller’s Crossing and The Big Lebowski. Jon and I worked together in TV starting with episodes of Homicide: Life on the Street, some pilots and Masters of Horror. He appeared in over 100 films, countless TV episodes and on Broadway. Jon was a born actor and will be deeply missed by his legion of friends, fans, family and of course his long time partner, Darryl Armbruster to whom I send my condolences. R.I.P. old pal.
Polito is one of those guys you always see on the screen but sometimes don’t recognize. Hopefully that’ll change in light of his passing. I always found his presence warm and inviting, and every performance was distinctly his own. He was last seen in an episode of Major Crimes. His last performance will be in The Maestro, set for release next year.