Comedian and actor John Pinette was found dead in his hotel room in Pittsburgh on Sunday. He was 50 years old.
Pinette, perhaps best known for his role as a carjacking victim on the "Seinfeld" series finale, was also a popular standup comic. He appeared in such films as "Duets" and "The Punisher," as well as on Broadway as Edna Turnblad in "Hairspray."
He had recently struggled with heart and liver disease, and delayed a series of performances to visit rehab for a prescription drug addiction in August. In the months prior to his death, he had lost 200 pounds and gotten sober, Pinette's manager Larry Schapiro told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
"John had become a sober person," Schapiro said. "The sadness of this entire event is that for he first time in his life he was healthy, he was alive. He'd just turned 50 and John was on top of his game."
Pinette was in Pittsburgh for a family function. He was also in the midst of a standup tour and was working on a new one-man show, "They Call Me Slim," which Schapiro said was "groundbreaking." No autopsy will be performed, as Pinette passed away of natural causes.