‘Day of the Dead’ Scene-Stealer Joseph Pilato Has Died at 70
By John Squires
March 25, 2019
One of the single best performances you’ll find in the late George Romero’s oeuvre would have to be Joseph Pilato‘s scenery-chewing portrayal of Captain Rhodes in Day of the Dead, the primary human antagonist of the film and one of Romero’s most memorable characters. Sadly, we’ve learned this afternoon that Pilato has left us at the age of 70.
Prior to landing one of the top roles in Day of the Dead, Joseph Pilato had worked with George Romero on Dawn of the Dead and Knightriders, playing small roles in both films. Throughout the 1980s he also appeared in Effects, Gung Ho, Terminal Force and Shooters.
Going into the ’90s and beyond, Pilato appeared in Alienator, Empire of the Dark, The Evil Inside Me, Pulp Fiction, The Demolitionist, Fatal Passion, Wishmaster and The Ghouls.
Friend Marty Schiff broke the sad news on Facebook today, writing: “It is with great sadness that I inform you that actor and old friend Joseph “Joe” Pilato passed away quietly in his sleep last night. Rest in Peace, Joe.”
Rest in Peace indeed, Captain.
PILATO, Joseph (Joseph Francis Anthony Pilato, Jr.)
Born: 3/16/1949, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
Died: 3/24/21019, U.S.A.
Joseph Pilato’s western – actor:
The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. (TV) – 1993 (Big Ed)