Actor and stand-up comedian John Pinette was found dead in his hotel room on Saturday on the South Side.

Authorities said he likely died of natural causes.

The Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Office said Pinette, 50, who listed his most recent address as Springfield, Pa., but is a Boston native, had several health problems.

He was found dead in the Sheraton Station Square about 2:30 p.m. No autopsy was scheduled, because his death was not suspicious. He had battled heart and liver disease.

Pinette, whose comedy routines usually made fun of his weight and appetites, had recently returned to stand-up comedy after starring as Edna Turnblad in productions of the musical “Hairspray.” TMZ reported in August that he missed several shows to check into rehab for an addiction to prescription medication he developed after a surgery earlier in 2013.

According to his Facebook page, Pinette was between comedy shows in California.

He starred in movies, including “The Punisher” and “Duets,” and he appeared in the final episode of Seinfeld in 1998 as the victim of a carjacking that ended with the show's main characters being jailed for their indifference to the crime under New York's “Good Samaritan” law.


Matthew Santoni is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5625 or


Read a FlipSide interview with Pinette from 2011.