The creators of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and “Gilmore Girls” are mourning actor Brian Tarantina, who died early Saturday morning at age 60.
Laurie Smith, Tarantina’s representative, confirmed to USA TODAY that the actor died “just after midnight” while recovering from complications of a “severe health crisis he experienced a few months ago.”
The New York Police Department told The Associated Press that officers responded to his Manhattan apartment on West 51st Street shortly before 1 a.m. Saturday.
They found Tarantina on his couch, fully clothed but unconscious and unresponsive. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The cause of death is being determined by the medical examiner.
Smith called him a “gifted New York born and bred character actor” who lived in the same Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood apartment he grew up in.
Tarantina was best known as Bootsy on “Gilmore Girls” and Jackie on “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” He joined the cast of the latter onstage at the 2019 Screen Actors Guild Awards, when the show won for best comedy series ensemble.
He also appeared on Broadway and in Spike Lee’s “BlacKkKlansman. He had an extensive list of guest appearances on popular TV series, including the “Law & Order” franchise, “Madam Secretary,” “The Good Wife,” “ER,” “The Sopranos” and “Miami Vice.”
“Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” star Rachel Brosnahan mourned Tarantina in an Instagram post Sunday, writing that she was “so deeply sad to hear about the passing of Brian Tarantina. He was hilarious and talented and kind and an all around golden (expletive) weirdo. Our family of weirds won’t be the same without him.”
“Thank you Brian Tarantina for sharing in all of the laughs,” the official “Mrs. Maisel” Twitter account wrote Saturday night. “Sending love to his family and friends in this difficult time.”
The official account also tweeted a story from Deadline, which shares a joint statement from “Maisel” and “Gilmore Girls” creators Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino.
“For over twenty five years, Brian Tarantina has been in our lives. He was in Amy’s first pilot. And he’s been in every significant thing we’ve done since,” the statement said. “He came in with that voice and that timing and he made every scene better. And weirder. Every moment was completely unique. You can’t describe a guy like Brian, you just had to be there. And lucky for us, we were. We love him and will forever miss him.”
Contributing: The Associated Press
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