Brian Tarantina, known for his roles in hit shows like “Gilmore Girls” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” died of an apparent overdose in his Manhattan apartment, reports multiple outlets. The 60-year-old actor was reportedly found by his niece around 12:30 AM on Saturday. According to law enforcement, she told them she had shown up to check on him and discovered Tarantina unresponsive on his couch. His niece called 911 and when responders arrived they announced him dead on the scene.
According to reports, a white powdery substance was found near his body but cops have not yet identified what the substance is at the time of press. While Tarantina’s body was discovered this morning, it’s unclear when he died. His niece allegedly told law enforcement the last time she talked to the actor was Tuesday night of this week. The next step is for the New York medical examiner to conduct an autopsy which will determine the actual cause of his death.
While his rep confirmed his death to PEOPLE, his camp did not address the rumored overdose. “Brian had been ill lately,” the rep said. “He was recently in the hospital and was in the process of recuperating from what I believe to be a heart-related issue.” Tarantina appeared in several tv programs as well as movies over his career. Most recently, he was part of the Emmy winning cast from “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” Starring as Jackie in the Amazon Prime original, Tarantina appeared alongside Alex Borstein, Rachel Brosnahan, Tony Shalhoub, Kevin Pollak and more. He shared the spotlight with “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” cast during their win for Outstanding Ensemble in a Comedy Series at the 25th Screen Actors Guild Awards in January of this year.
Tarantina is also known for playing Bootsy in the popular early 2000s hit “Gilmore Girls.” His character appeared in season 2 of the WB show and was the owner of the newsstand in Stars Hollow. Bootsy was also an old school friend of Luke Danes, played by Scott Gordon Patterson.
Tarantina’s career is extensive with his resume credits dating all the way back to the ’80s. He often played supporting characters, instead of leading roles. He appeared in films like “Jacob’s Ladder,” “Uncle Buck,” “The Jerky Boys,” “Knight and Day,” “BlacKkKlansman” and “Son of Sam.” Besides his credits on “Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and “Gilmore Girls,” Tarantina also appeared in “Law & Order,” “The Black Donnellys,” “The Good Wife,” “The Black List,” “Blue Bloods” — the list goes on and on. His latest project was “The Kitchen” where he played Burns and starred next to Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish and Elisabeth Moss.
Brian Tarantina’s appearance in “The Kitchen” hit theaters over this summer in August. The movie centers around three women — McCarthy, Haddish and Moss — who are married to New York gangsters in the ’70s. When their husbands get locked up for their criminal behavior, it is up to the women to step in and operate the family business. It’s unclear if Tarantina left any loved ones behind besides his niece. He was only 60 years old. R.I.P.