I was deeply saddened today to read of the passing of one of my alltime favorite character actors, Jon Polito, from cancer. His roles over 30 years on TV, screen and stage were too numerous to mention but his versatility and craftsmanly performances were legendary among those of us who love the stage in all its forms.
My favorite performance of Polito’s, and one which should have earned him a best supporting actor nod but incomprehensibly did not, was as Giovanni “Johnny Caspar” Gasparo, the overreaching, comically faux-intellectual prohibition era Italian mob underboss in Albert Finny’s Irish mob controlled unnamed midwestern city in the Cohen Brothers’ masterpiece Miller’s Crossing. One of my favorite actors in one of my very favorite films in an unforgettable turn. RIP Jon.
“Hell Leo, I ain’t afwaid to use da woid. I’m talkin’ about etticks.”