Brian Tarantina, 'Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' and 'Gilmore Girls' Actor, Dies at 60

Brian Tarantina - Screen Actors Guild Awards - Getty H 2019

The actor played Jackie, emcee of The Gaslight comedy club, on 'Maisel' and Bootsy, owner of Stars Hollow's newsstand, on 'Gilmore Girls.'

Brian Tarantina, an actor who appeared on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Gilmore Girls, has died due to complications from a recent illness, his rep, Laurie Smith, told The Hollywood Reporter. He was 60.

"He was a brilliant actor and wonderful client and friend. I am sad and in shock," Smith said.

The New York Police Department responded to a 911 call about an unconscious male in a Manhattan apartment at 12:40 a.m. on Saturday, a spokesperson from the department confirmed to THR. Upon arrival, officers found Tarantina unconscious and unresponsive on his couch and emergency medical services pronounced him dead. The New York City medical examiner's office will determine an official cause of death and the investigation remains ongoing.

Tarantina played the emcee of the comedy club, The Gaslight, where Rachel Brosnahan's Midge initially drunkenly performs on Mrs. Maisel. The actor, along with his co-stars, scored a Screen Actors Guild Award when the Amazon series won for outstanding performance by an ensemble in a comedy series.

Tarantina also appeared on Gilmore Girls from 2001 to 2002, as well as in Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life in 2016 as Bootsy, the owner of Stars Hollow's newsstand.

He also starred in the films BlacKkKlansman and The Kitchen and appeared on the shows Heroes, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Law & Order: Criminal Intent and Blue Bloods.

Gilmore Girls creators Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino released the following statement after Tarantina's death: "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. 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."

On Twitter, the official account for The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel paid tribute to the actor in a message that read, "The Gaslight won't be the same without you. Thank you Brian Tarantina for sharing in all the laughs. Sending love to his family and friends in this difficult time."

Maisel star Brosnahan also remembered Tarantina on Instagram, captioning an image of the actor on the show with, "So deeply sad to hear about the passing of Brian Tarantina. 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."

Nov. 2, 3:56 p.m. Updated with tribute message.
Nov. 2, 6:35 p.m. Updated with statement from Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino.
Nov. 4, 7:44 a.m. Updated with Rachel Brosnahan's tribute.