Jon Polito Dies; Veteran Actor Was 65

Jon Polito, a veteran actor who was a favorite of The Coen Brothers, died on Thursday night after being taken off life support.

He was 65 years old.

On the big screen, Polito was likely best known for roles in The Big Lebowski and Miller’s Crossing.

But he appeared in over 100 films throughout his impressive career, while also appearing on such hits TV shows as Seinfeld, Modern Family and Homicide: Life on the Streets.

Polito was diagnosed with melanoma in 2008.

He recently suffered an infection following a surgery and reports confirm he slipped into a coma Sunday.

Director John McNaughton then broke the sad news of his passing on Friday morning.

“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,” said McNaughton, adding:

R.I.P. old pal.”

A native of Philadelphia, Polito also counted roles on Broadway as part of his extensive resume.

He stopped by The Late Show with David Letterman on a couple of occasions, as documented in the following reel of Polito’s most memorable moments in comedy:

Comedian Scott Aukerman was one of many to pay tribute to the actor after learning of his death.

This is what Aukerman wrote on Instagram of Polito:

One of the coolest days on Bang Bang recently was when Jon Polito guest starred on our “You Made Your Bed, Now Lie In It” sketch.

As a big fan, I was nervous about how he would feel about being in such a stupid sketch, but the minute he saw me, he laughed and said, “I’ve been watching your show, and you’re a sick twist!”

He spent all day delightfully regaling us with stories about Miller’s Crossing, Barton Fink, and Death of a Salesman.

Then, when the cameras turned on, he slipped into his classic hard-boiled character. A great actor and cool dude! RIP.

Through the years, Polito collaborated with some of the biggest names in Hollywood.

He appeared alongside Marlon Brando in 1990’s The Freshman… worked with directors Tim Burton (Big Eyes) and Clint Eastwood (Flags of Our Fathers) … and played a villain in a pair of 1994 flicks, Blankman and The Crow.

We send our condolences to his friends, family members and loved ones.


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