A Tribute to Jon Polito (1950-2016)

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One of Hollywood’s most beloved supporting characters actors passed away. You may not be familiar with his name, but chances are you know his face and tough guy like voice.

Jon Polito passed away at the age of 65, his death announced by best friend and collaborator John McNaughton. Born in Philadelphia on December 29, 1950, Polito took up acting while attending Villanova University and began work in off-Broadway productions. He made his film debut as Thomas “Three Finger Brown” Lucchese in the 1981 miniseries The Gangster Chronicles and its subsequent film adaptation Gangster Wars that same year.

Polito has appeared in many films and television series. However, he is truly known Stateside for his work with famed directors Joel and Ethan Coen. He appeared in the following Coen Brothers films: Miller’s Crossing (1990), Barton Fink (1993), and The Big Lebowski (1998). He also played Michael Mancini, the lead villain of Damon Wayans’ comical superhero Blankman in 1994.

Polito also had the distinction to appear in two international films. He played the New York City club owner who befriends the crazy titular Dutch family in Dick Maas’ 1992 sequel Flodder in Amerika and then in 2002, played wrestling promoter King, whose wrestlers had their DNA fused with animal DNA in Tsui Hark’s Black Mask II: City of Masks.

Polito is survived by his brother, animator Jack Polito, and longtime partner Darryl Armbruster.

World Film Geek sends its condolences to the family of Jon Polito. As a tribute, we present Polito in some comedic performances in a compilation video from YouTube user Johnnie1950.

Rest in Peace, Jon Polito.

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