Tarantina played Jackie, the emcee at the Gaslight comedy club where Midge performs, on the popular Amazon series. In January, he took the stage at the SAG Awards to receive the comedy series ensemble trophy alongside the other main Marvelous Mrs. Maisel cast members.
Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino, who write and direct the comedy, issued a joint statement saying they will “forever miss” the actor.
“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.”
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Before joining The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Tarantina played Bootsy on Gilmore Girls, a role he recently reprised in the Gilmore Girls: A Year In the Life movies for Netflix. Sherman-Palladino created both Gilmore Girls and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, executive produced by her and Palladino.
Tarantina was also honored with tributes from series star Brosnahan on Instagram and the cast and crew of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel via the show’s official Twitter account.
“So deeply sad to hear about the passing of Brian Tarantina,” Brosnahan wrote next to a picture of Tarantina from the show Sunday morning. “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.”
“The Gaslight won’t be the same without you. Thank you Brian Tarantina for sharing in all of the laughs. Sending love to his family and friends in this difficult time,” the tweet from the series’ official account said.
Tarantina was found unresponsive on a couch in his apartment in New York City at 12:40 a.m., the NYPD confirmed to Deadline. Emergency medical services personnel responded to the location and pronounced him deceased at the scene.
The medical examiner’s office in New York will perform an autopsy to determine his official cause of death.
The New York native got his start in television on One Life to Live. His other numerous credits included Gilmore Girls, Law & Order, Blue Bloods, The Sopranos, Heroes, and The Blacklist. He also had roles in the films BlacKkKlansman and The Kitchen.
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