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RIP Jon Polito

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The sad news has just reached us the legendary character actor, Jon Polito has passed away at the age of 65. His cause of death is unknown at this time. You may not know his name, but you definitely know his face, having starred in countless films and t.v. shows in his long, long, LONGGGGG career (his IMDB credits number more than 200 credits), including The Crow, American Gangster, Desperate Housewives, Seinfeld, Highlander, Scrubs, and a lead role in the first two seasons of Homicide: Life on the Streets.


But he is best known for his five collaborations with the Coen brothers which began with Miller’s Crossing, where he pretty much stole the show as gangster Jonny Caspar, constantly screaming about getting "the high hat". He was originally offer the role of The Dane, Caspar’s enforcer (eventually played by J.E. Freeman), but turned it down, saying he would only play Caspar. The Coen’s auditioned the actors for the role, but eventually settled on Polito after making him read the entire role cold. He would pull the same stunt the next year for Barton Fink, initially turning down the role of Lou Breeze (which was written especially for him), but was persuaded by France McDormand, Joel Coen’s wife, after she told him it would change his career. His next role for the brothers, The Hudsucker Proxy, was followed up by probably his most beloved cameo, that of private detective Da Fino in The Big Lewbowski who mistakes The Dude as a fellow ‘brother Shamus’ (all together now, “like an Irish monk?”). His final collaboration with the Coen’s came in 2001 with The Man Who Wasn’t There.

The thoughts of all of us here at The Movie Bit are with his friends and family during this tragic time.

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The Movie Bit: RIP Jon Polito
RIP Jon Polito
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