Jon Polito (born December 29, 1950) is an American actor and voice artist.
Polito was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is known for working with the Coen Brothers, most notably in the major supporting role of Italian gangster Johnny Caspar in Miller's Crossing. He appeared as Det. Steve Crosetti in the first two seasons of Homicide: Life on the Street and on the first season of Crime Story. Polito won an OBIE award in 1980 for his theater performances off Broadway and for his lifetime of work in film and television he received the Maverick Spirit Event Award at Cinequest Film Festival in 2005. In 2012, he won the award for "Best Actor in a Short Film" at Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival.
When Homicide began pre-production, Polito was asked to audition, and was initially reluctant - he didn't want move to Baltimore for the series, because he had just relocated from New York to Los Angeles. The script he received featured a dialogue scene between two detectives, one Polish American and the other Irish-American. Polito decided that the part he wanted was that of the Irishman, but he was told that he could not read for it. After reading for the part of the Polish-American detective, Polito added a message on his audition tape, saying that if the producers wanted to call him back, he would only be interested if he could take the part of the Irish detective. Series co-creators Barry Levinson and Tom Fontana did call him back, and they rewrote the character as an Italian, and cast him in the role. The other character, the Polish-American detective, was also rewritten, becoming Det. Meldrick Lewis, played by African-American actor Clark Johnson...
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