Homicide's Jon Polito Dead at 65

Jon Polito, whose myriad TV credits included the role of Det. “Steve” Crosetti on NBC’s Homicide: Life on the Street, died on Thursday. He was 65.

Director John McNaughton shared the news via Facebook, saying: “Very sad to learn that my dear friend and collaborator, Jon Polito, has passed away…. 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.”

In addition to his early-seasons run on Homicide: Life on the Street, Polito’s TV credits included Crime Story, The Chronicle, Raising the Bar, Bunheads, Murder in the First and, most recently, episodes of Modern Family and Major Crimes.

On the bigger screen, Polito was almost a staple in the Coen Brothers films, having had roles in Miller’s Crossing, Barton Fink, The Hudsucker Proxy, The Big Lebowski and The Man Who Wasn’t There.

According to TMZ, Polito slipped into a coma on Sunday, and was taken off life support four days later.

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17 Comments
  1. Whatevah8 says:

    Ohhh…RIP. Loved him in everything he was in.

  2. Luis says:

    So sad. He was the definition of a “character actor,” and he rarely disappointed.

  3. bos4ny3 says:

    “I’m talkin’ about friendship. I’m talkin’ about character. I’m talkin’ about – hell. Leo, I ain’t embarrassed to use the word – I’m talkin’ about ethics.” – Miller’s Crossing. “Let me tell ya something – I dig your work. Playing one side against the other, in bed with everybody – just fabulous stuff. ” – The Big Lebowski. What a terrific actor, memorable is SO many roles! RIP.

  4. DavidJ says:

    Sad to hear. I really liked him in both Homicide and Rocketeer (as the promotor who actually comes up with the name).

  5. Tom says:

    So sad to lose “Brother Seamus”.

  6. SO says:

    He was great playing Harold on the “70’s episode on Castle

  7. Lore says:

    I hope Modern Family makes something to remember him

  8. Cat says:

    Loved him on “The Chronicle” with Chad Willett, Rena Sofer, Reno Wilson, Sharon Sachs and Curtis Armstrong. Great character actor! RIP Jon!

  9. HAP says:

    He was a marvelous actor. But, I do scratch my head when I see every obit I read tying him to Homicide: Life on The Street. That show ran 122 episodes and Jon was in only 13. He was a very in-demand movie actor.

    • I think that’s because he was unceremoniously removed on command from NBC Entertainment president Warren Littlefield, on the grounds that he was “too overweight and too unattractive.” These are Littlefield’s words, not mine.

    • Kevin In CT says:

      Wow, I too identify him with Homocide and didn’t realize he was only in so few episodes. I loved the interplay between his character and Clark Johnson’s Meldrick Lewis, they really were good together.

  10. Jason says:

    Jon Polito was one of those great character actors that you sort of took for granted. He always popped up in so many shows and movies and it seemed like you could always count on him to be around. He always fit a certain niche and now that he’s gone there will be a void because no one else can do what he does. It was a small part but one of my favorites roles of his was on Gilmore Girls when he played the father in Kirk’s bizarre, Lynchian, black and white film. He recurred pretty often on Modern Family. I think that’s the only show he was on regularly enough for them to pay tribute. I hope they take the time to do that.

  11. 1idpete says:

    He was an actor that appeared in so many things big and small and was always noticeable each and every time.

  12. Joey Padron says:

    Sad to hear about his passing. He was a great actor. RIP.

  13. Rick Friedman says:

    He was one of the last remaining true character actors that were so common in the older movies and today are so rare. A very very excellent actor who helped make many a film far better because he was in it and because he looked like a real human being and not like some soap opera Ken or Barbie doll. The movies truly cannot afford to lose actors like him so few remain