Veteran Philadelphia-born Italian-American character actor and Coen brothers regular Jon Polito has died at the age of 65. His death was due to cancer, Polito was first diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2010. He is survived by his husband Darryl Armbruster.
Polito often played no-nonsense types like cops and gangsters, racking up nearly 220 credits on the IMDb. Speaking with Groucho Reviews about typecasting, he said: “I don’t have a problem – first of all, my theory is there are only gangsters and cops. There are also fathers, but they are really boring unless some tragedy happens to the father… I don’t mind typecasting, but I will not do the same thing over again.”
Polito portrayed Baltimore detective Steve Crosetti on the first two seasons of NBC’s acclaimed drama “Homicide: Life on the Street,” and crime boss Phil Bartoli opposite Dennis Farina on the 1980s Michael Mann NBC drama “Crime Story”. He has also had memorable guest turns on “Seinfeld,” “Modern Family” and “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”.
Coen aficionados though will remember him as Polito in “Miller’s Crossing,” studio hack Lou Breeze in “Barton Fink,” the restless Mr. Bumstead in “The Hudsucker Proxy,” the P.I. Da Fino in “The Big Lebowski,” and eccentric businessman Creighton Tolliver in “The Man Who Wasn’t There”.
Other film roles included “The Rocketeer,” “The Crow,” “Flags of Our Fathers,” “Critical Condition,” “Gangster Squad,” “Stuart Little,” “View From the Top,” “The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle” and “Big Eyes”.