John Pinette, a stand-up comedian whose career included a turn in the Seinfeld finale, has died, his manager Larry Schapiro confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter. He was 50.
He was found in a Pittsburgh hotel room and determined to have died Saturday of natural causes, a spokesperson for the medical examiner’s office in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, told The Hollywood Reporter. Schapiro stated that the cause of death was a pulmonary embolism.
The comedian, born in Boston in 1964, was a regular touring presence and was currently on a live trek that had set dates from April to June across venues in the U.S. and Canada.
Pinette’s film credits include roles in Junior (1994), The Punisher (2004) and The Last Godfather (2010). He starred in several specials, including Still Hungry (2011) and I’m Starvin’ (2006) and hosted a comedy cooking show on H2 called All You Can Eat that aired in Sept. 2013. He was also a staple at Canada’s Just for Laughs festival.
The comic also played Edna Turnblad during a national touring production of Hairspray in 2004.
On television, he appeared in the series Vinnie & Bobby, Parker Lewis Can’t Lose and High Tide. His role in the last Seinfeld episode in 1998 saw the comic as a man who was robbed and had his car stolen as Kramer, George, Jerry and Elaine just watched and cracked jokes.
Fellow comedians and industry notables paid tribute to Pinette on Sunday:
I was so lucky to work so many gigs with John Pinette who was as kind as he was funny. So very sad for his family. Way too young.
— Caroline Rhea (@CarolineRhea) April 6, 2014
@JohnPinette sad to see him pass into the night and so young he was a funny fuck and a sweet heap of a man. Hope there’s a buffet out there
— Lewis Black (@TheLewisBlack) April 6, 2014
So sad to hear about John Pinette. Was a hilarious Boston comic. #RIP
— andrew stanton (@andrewstanton) April 6, 2014
Just was informed a great comedian and buddy John Pinette passed away Saturday. Horrible news. Never failed to make us cry laughing. On or
— Larry The Cable Guy (@GitRDoneLarry) April 6, 2014
Really breaks my heart to hear @JohnPinette has passed away. Obviously hilarious but just such a sweet guy.
— Steve Byrne (@stevebyrnelive) April 6, 2014
John Pinette. Funny man. Kind man. Rest in peace.
— bob saget (@bobsaget) April 6, 2014
by Erik Hayden