Entertainment

Brian Tarantina of ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ dead at 60

NEW YORK (AP) — Brian Tarantina, a character actor who was most recently known for his role in “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” has died in his Manhattan home. He was 60.

The New York Police Department said officers responded to the apartment on West 51st Street shortly before 1 a.m. Saturday.

They found Tarantina on his couch, fully clothed but unconscious and unresponsive. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The cause of death was being determined by the medical examiner.

His manager Laurie Smith said he had recently had a severe illness.

“We are shocked and saddened at the passing of this wonderful actor and good friend,” she said.

On “Mrs. Maisel,” Tarantina played an emcee at a comedy club called the Gaslight.

The show’s star, Rachel Brosnahan, remembered him as “hilarious and talented and kind” in an Instagram post . “Our family of weirds won’t be the same without him,” she wrote.

The show’s official Twitter account also posted a tribute to Tarantina.

“The Gaslight won’t be the same without you. Thank you Brian Tarantina for sharing in all of the laughs. Sending love to his family and friends in this difficult time,” it wrote in the post.

In January, Tarantina was at the Screen Actors Guild Awards when the show won the comedy series ensemble category.

Tarantina had roles in a number of television shows and movies, including “Gilmore Girls” and “BlacKkKlansman.”

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Inmate confesses killing 2 molesters in letter to newspaper

CORCORAN, Calif. (AP) — A California inmate serving a life sentence for murder confessed in a letter that he beat to death two child molesters with a cane hours after a prison counselor ignored his urgent warning that he might become violent.

In a letter to the Bay Area News Group, Jonathan Watson, 41, said he clubbed both men in the head on Jan. 16 at the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison in the small central city of Corcoran.

The first attack occurred after Watson became enraged that one of the sex offenders was watching a children’s television show, the Northern California newspaper group reported Thursday,

Prisoner David Bobb, 48, died that day. Graham De Luis-Conti, 62, died three days later at a hospital. Both were serving life sentences for aggravated sexual assault of a child under 14.

“We can’t comment on an active investigation,” Dana Simas, spokesman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, wrote in an email.

Watson is serving a life sentence for a 2009 murder conviction.

Days before the attack, he said his security classification was changed and he was transferred from a single-person cell to a lower-security dormitory pod at the Central Valley facility. Watson called the switch a “careless” mistake and said he had protested the decision.

Watson wrote that six days after he arrived at the prison, a child molester moved into the pod. Watson believed the man began taunting other inmates by watching children’s television programming. Watson said in the letter he couldn’t sleep that night “having not done what every instinct told me I should’ve done right then and there.”

Two hours before the attacks the next day, Watson told a prison counselor that he urgently needed to be transferred back to higher-level security “before I really (expletive) one of these dudes up,” but the counselor “scoffed and dismissed” him.

Watson said he returned to his housing pod.

“I was mulling it all over when along came Molester #1 and he put his TV right on PBS Kids again,” he wrote, according to the newspaper chain. “But this time, someone else said something to the effect of ‘Is this guy really going to watch this right in front of us?’ and I recall saying, ‘I got this.’ And I picked up the cane and went to work on him.”

Watson said he then left the housing pod to find a guard and turn himself in, but on the way, he saw “a known child trafficker, and I figured I’d just do everybody a favor,” Watson wrote. “In for a penny, in for a pound.”

Watson said he then told a guard, who didn’t believe him “until he looked around the corner and saw the mess I’d left in the dorm area,” Watson wrote.

Watson is in segregated housing while he is under investigation for the killings. He hasn’t been charged yet.

“Being a lifer, I’m in a unique position where I sometimes have access to these people and I have so little to lose,” Watson wrote. “And trust me, we get it, these people are every parents’ worst nightmare.”

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