Brian Tarantina, known as Gaslight emcee Jackie on a dozen episodes of "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," was found dead in his NYC apartment early Saturday morning, TMZ reports. He had turned 60 earlier this year.
According to the actor's representative, Laurie Smith, Tarantina had been battling an unspecified illness. TMZ's sources report that authorities believe his death could be drug-related.
Smith told THR, "He was a brilliant actor and wonderful client and friend. I am sad and in shock."
Sources tell TMZ Tarantina's niece checked on him in his apartment in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood, found him unconscious on his couch, and called 911.
His death is under investigation.
Tarantina made his film debut in "The Cotton Club" (1984), the pet project of producer Robert Evans, who also just passed away. Since then, he had worked steadily on TV and in film, appearing in such favorites as "Uncle Buck" (1989), "Born on the Fourth of July" (1989), "Carlito's Way" (1993), and "BlacKkKlansman" (2018). He played Bootsy on five episodes of "Gilmore Girls" (2001-2002) and in 2016's "Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life."
He was a SAG winner for "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel."
The official "Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" Twitter account posted the following tribute to Tarantina:
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. pic.twitter.com/J1R1ijF3tE— The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (@MaiselTV) November 2, 2019