“So deeply sad to hear about the passing of Brian Tarantina,” Brosnahan lamented on social media early Sunday of her colleague, who played Jackie, the emcee at the Gaslight comedy club where her titular character got her start. “He was hilarious and talented and kind and an all around golden fucking weirdo. Our family of weirds won’t be the same without him.”
Brosnahan’s Mrs. Maisel sidekick, Alex Borstein, also mourned Tarantina on Instagram. “God damnit, Jackie, you f–king f–k,” she wrote. “Thought you’d be the very last one to leave me.”
A cause of death is currently unknown, but a rep for Tarantina told People.com that “Brian had been ill lately,” adding, “He was recently in the hospital and was in the process of recuperating from what I believe to be a heart-related issue.” TMZ, meanwhile, is reporting that Tarantina died of a drug overdose.
Tarantina previously worked with Mrs. Maisel EPs Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino on Gilmore Girls, where he recurred in Season 2 as Stars Hollow newsstand owner Bootsy. Additional TV credits include The Black Donnellys, Heroes, Law & Order and The Good Wife.