Tarantina died Nov. 3 at the age of 60 from the combined effects of fentanyl, heroin, diazepam and cocaine, a spokesperson at the Medical Examiner’s office confirmed. The actor was found dead in his apartment in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood, but a cause of death had not been determined at the time.
Tarantina was a character actor known for his roles on “Maisel” and “Gilmore Girls.” The native New Yorker also appeared in guest roles on a number of shows including “Law & Order,” “NYPD Blue,” “Miami Vice,” “Homicide: Life on the Street,” “Oz” and “ER.”
His most recent part was as a nightclub emcee on “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” After news of his death, the show paid tribute saying, “The Gaslight won’t be the same without you.”
Tarantina’s “Mrs. Maisel” co-star Alex Borstein, who portrays Susie Myerson on Amazon’s acclaimed comedy, offered her condolences.
“For my character, Susie has two people in her life that she somewhat trusts, Midge and Jackie, and that’s a huge hole. That’s a huge loss,” Borstein told Variety on the red carpet at the show’s Season 3 premiere. “For me personally as an actress, Brian and I were both super, super crabby, we would complain, and I’m going to miss that.”
Bornstein said she doesn’t know if the show will address his death.
“He passed after we completed this season, so what will they do for the future? I don’t know, but this is a terrible loss for us,” Borstein said.