Polito's wide-ranging career included a whopping 217 acting credits, per his IMDb page, highlighted by his appearance in Coen brothers classics like "The Big Lebowski," "Miller's Crossing," "Barton Fink," "The Hudsucker Proxy," and "The Man Who Wasn't There." He also starred on the first two seasons of "Homicide: Life on the Street," and reprised his role of detective Steve Crosetti for a 2000 TV movie.
The Italian-American actor's eclectic arsenal of characters often included cops and quirky criminals, though Polito said in a 2005 interview that he wasn't bothered by playing such similar roles, provided there was some range to the characters. "I don't mind typecasting, but I will not do the same thing over again," he said.
That range was expressed throughout his career, like his television work on series such as "Modern Family" (on which he starred as recently as this year, playing the recurring role of Jay's business nemesis, Earl Chambers, the owner of Closets Closets Closets Closets), "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," "Seinfeld," "The Drew Carey Show," "Gilmore Girls," "Bunheads," "Judging Amy," "Scrubs," "Desperate Housewives," "Avatar: The Last Airbender," "Ghost Whisperer," "American Dad!," and "Comedy Bang! Bang!," among many, many others.
His film credits, totaling more than 100, included roles in "The Freshman," "The Rocketeer," "The Crow," "The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle," "View From the Top," "The Honeymooners," "Flags of Our Fathers," "American Gangster," "Gangster Squad," and "Big Eyes."
Director John McNaughton, who worked with Polito on "Homicide" and other TV projects, remembered his friend in a Facebook post, writing, "Jon was a born actor and will be deeply missed by his legion of friends, fans, family and of course his long time partner, Darryl Armbruster to whom I send my condolences. R.I.P. old pal."
Polito passed away after battling cancer for several years. He is survived by his husband, Armbruster
Photo credit: Getty Images