Jon Raymond Polito was an American character actor and voice artist. In a film and television career spanning 35 years, he amassed over 220 credits.
Born: December 29, 1950, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Died: September 1, 2016, Duarte, California, USA
Cause of Death: Cancer
Height: 5'8" (1.715m)
He was a veteran character actor who grew up in southwest Philidelphia and attended Villanova University on a drama scholarship. From there, he began a lengthy run on the New York stage. In 1977, he won his first Broadway job, understudying actor Kenneth McMillan in David Mamet's visceral drama, "American Buffalo", which also starred Robert Duvall. Other Broadway roles include "Curse of an Acting Heart". oposite Faye Dunaway, and the acclaimed revival of Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman" with Dustin Hoffman as Willie Loman.
Off-Broadway, Polito originated roles in "Gemini" with Sigourney Weaver, "The Transformation of Benno Blimpie" and "Othe People's Money" oposite Mercedes Ruehl. He won on Obie Award as Best Actor in 1980 for five different performances at the Dodge Theater for the 1970-80 Season
The same year, he arrived in Hollywood, and immediately won a role in the television series "Gangster Chronicles". By the end of the decade, Polito landed the role with which he is most associated -- Johnny Casper, the colorful mob rival to Alber Finney's Irish gangster in the Coen Brother's "Miller's Crossing". Two years later, he he reunited with the fraternal filmmakers as a studio gofer in their Cannes Film Festival winner, "Barton Fink". He continued his association with the brothers in both "The Hudsucker Proxy" and in their recent release, "The Big Lebowwski". Recently, Polito has been seen in the very successful "Stuart Little" and "Rocky and Bullwinkle", and he is associated with the following slate of 2001 releases: "View from the Top" with Gwyneth Paltrow, "The Tailor of Panama" with Pierce Brosnan and Geoffrey Rush, and "Twentynine Palms" with Bill Pullman, Rachael Leigh Cook, and Chris O'Donnel and Michael Rappaport.
Polito also appeared in such feature films as "Fluke", "The Crow", "The Freshmen" opposite Marlon Brando, "The Rocketeer", "Highlander", "Critical Condition", "Homeboy", "Fire with Fire", "Leather Jackets", "Bushwhacked", "Blankman", and "Showtime's - The Defenders: Choice of Evils" opposite Beau Bridges and "The Apartment Complex", directed by Tobe Hooper.
On the small screen, Polito co-starred in such series as Barry Leninson's "Homicide: Life on the Street", Michael Mann's "Crime Story", "O'Hara", and John Landis' "Dream On". He has also guest -starred on "Millennium", "Veronica's Closet", "Seinfeld", "Roseanne", "Chicago Hope", "NYPD Blue", "Mad About You" and "Early Edition". He co-starred in Showtime's "Fallen Angels" (directed by Tom Hanks), the Cable ACE Award winning episode of HBO's anthology series, "Tales from the Crypt" (directed by Walter Hill), and reprised his Broadway role in the CBS-TV production of "Death of a Salesman". 2001 also has Jon Polito shooting the Sci-Fi Channel's newest series, "The Chronicle" and he will also be seen as a woman on an upcoming episode of HBO's "The Chris Isaak Show".
A veteran of nearly 100 films, Jon Polito was most recognized for his work with The Coen brothers, as well as his many television appearances as a series regular and guest star. Notable motion picture roles include: "Millers Crossing", "Barton Fink", "The Man Who Wasn't There", "The Crow", "Blankman", and "The Freshman" with Marlon Brando, and "Big Eyes". Directors he has worked with include; Russel Mulcahy, Clint Eastwood, John McNaughton, Tom Hanks, Andrew Bergman, Michael Apted, Ridley Scott, and Tim Burton amongst others. On television, he starred as a series regular on "Crime Story", "Ohara", "Hearts are Wild", "The Chronical", and the critically acclaimed "Homicide, Life on the Street". Notable guest star roles include the befuddled landlord Sylvio on "Seinfeld", his only role as a woman - Rhonda, on "The Chris Isaak Show", Danny Devito's brother Frank on "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia", and Earl Chambers on "Modern Family". He starred on Broadway with Faye Dunaway in "The Curse Of An Aching Heart", and with Dustin Hoffman in the 1985 Tony award winning revival of "Death Of A Salesman", which he also filmed for CBS. He received the Best Actor OBIE award for Off Broadway theatre in 1980. Other awards include the 2001 'TELLY' for animation voice over in "The Dancing Pumpkin" which was directed by his brother Jack Polito, The 'New York Independent Festival Award for Excellence in Acting', and the 2005 Cinequest Maverick Award for his lifetime body of work in Film and Television. In 2012 Jon received the Best Actor Award for the short film "Anti-Muse" from the 'Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival'. He credits his success to three people; his mentor Dominic Garvey, his only acting teacher Irene Baird, and to the late, great director, and friend, Paul Bettis. In addition, his inspiration to this day is New York theatre artist, Theodora Skipitares, who taught him film and design in university, and who has since never been far away from his life. She is 'Art' surviving.
You can't act alone.... Use the props, the setting, the crew around you, and of course your fellow actors. Acting is like a sporting match; a tennis game, but no one should win or lose.... The game's the thing!
Griffon of Pittsford
Carmine Falcone (voice)
Judge Greer / Judge Emerson Greer
Don Dillan (segment "story #1")
G.C.P.D. Commissioner Gillian B. Loeb (voice)
'Lucky' Louie Gianelli
Commissioner Loeb (voice)
Eddy (segment "United States Police Department")
John "The Prince" Monaco
Police Captain (segment "The Spectre") (voice)
Police Captain (voice)
Police Captain (voice)
Judge Dominick Ventimiglia
Funjl / Guy
Ulysses S. Pitt (voice)
Wolf 1 (voice, as John Polito)
Jimmy the Photographer
New Pupert / New Aldrin
Chief Arnook / Additional Voices
Jimmy 'The Tooth' Fusco
D.A. Gerald Abner
The Network Executive
Pete / 'Father' in Kirk's Film
The Security Guard
Stansfield / The Baby
Fisherman (segment "Tales from the Goose Lady: The Fisherman, the Fisherman's Wife, and the Fish")
Paparazzi (segment "Inside Out")
Naldo (as John Polito)
Cliff Mourning / Louie DeFozio
Constantin Falzone / Ben Hansel
The Other Guy
Dark Army Orc / Elliott the Guard / Viscosa (voice)
D.A. Al Orsini
Rinaldi / John Dennis
Whitley, Metro HQ (uncredited)
Michael 'The Suit' Minelli
Lt. Peter DiMartini / Lieutenant Peter DiMartini
Leon 'Pepe' Pepperman
David Pfieffer / Gene Carmack / Carmack / ...
Det. Walter Bedsoe
1st Cop (as John Polito)
Man in Taxi
Thomas 'Three Finger Brown' Lucchese
Thomas "Three Fingers Brown" Lucchese
[a] © 1986 - Paramount Pictures
[b] © 2001 USA Films
[c] © 2006 - Dreamworks
[d] Ron Tom © 2015 - American Broadcasting Company
[e] Robert Voets © 2012 - Warner Bros Television
[f] Wilson Webb - © 2013 Warner Bros. Entertainment