RIP Jimmy Kimmel’s Uncle Frank Potenza, Dead At 77

Published 4 years ago by , Updated March 3rd, 2014 at 7:06 am,

uncle frank jimmy kimmel RIP Jimmy Kimmels Uncle Frank Potenza, Dead At 77

After nine years of bringing the audience of Jimmy Kimmel Live! to tears with his humorous antics, loveable demeanor, and his kind heart, Jimmy Kimmel’s Uncle Frank Potenza sadly passed away earlier this morning at age 77.

Since the premiere of Jimmy Kimmel Live! in 2003, Jimmy Kimmel’s real-life Uncle Frank had been a welcome addition to the late night format. No matter what the reason – whether rehearsed or not (typically not) – Kimmel could always look to his Uncle Frank to provide some hilarious responses to whatever was being discussed.

With the given title of “security guard,” Uncle Frank didn’t “secure” the show’s hallways as much as he brought joy to everyone he encountered. Even though Jimmy Kimmel Live! doesn’t tape until 4pm PST, Uncle Frank would always arrive bright and early in the morning to spend time with the production staff – and whoever else he ran across.

Jimmy Kimmel and his Cousin Sal Iacono took to twitter today to remember their Uncle Frank:

@jimmykimmel – thank you for your kind words about a very kind man – my Uncle Frank – who passed away this morning

@TheCousinSal – I will miss my Uncle Frank dearly. A great man, friend, comedian.

Of course, Uncle Frank wasn’t always the thumbs-up giving television figure. As listed in his bio from ABC, Frank Potenza spent twenty years as a New York City police officer, ten years as a private security officer in Las Vegas (including a stint as Frank Sinatra’s personal security guard at Caesars Palace) and another seven years as an usher in Manhattan’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

Fans of the series will remember Kimmel stating that his Uncle Frank had to have been the worst police office ever, because in the twenty years that he spent as a NYC police officer, he only made six arrests – and one of those included someone who literally ran into him after  fleeing a robbery.

uncle frank jimmy kimmel RIP Jimmy Kimmels Uncle Frank Potenza, Dead At 77
R.I.P. Uncle Frank Potenza: November 11, 1933 – August 23, 2011

For the past few years, health problems caused Uncle Frank to take a hiatus from the series, and then only returning semi-regularly. Uncle Frank is survived by his ex-wife (Aunt Chippy), three daughters and a newborn granddaughter.

Jimmy Kimmel Live! is on hiatus until September 6. When the late night show returns, fans can expect a loving tribute to Uncle Frank. Until then, let’s take a look at a favorite Uncle Frank moment from the show that Cousin Sal wanted to share.

You can view the clip below:


Jimmy Kimmel Live! returns September 6 on ABC

Source: The Washington Post, ABC, Twitter

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  1. RIP. I have to get my converter box hooked up to watch that episode when they tribute uncle frank.

  2. RIP! You will be missed greatly!

  3. Godspeed & god bless Jimmy & Adam Carolla, proof you can make it in Hollywood & be talented without having to be fake or a scumbag. Eight years? That’s not possible..

  4. Godspeed & god bless Jimmy & Adam Carolla, proof you can make it in Hollywood & be talented without having to be fake or a scum bag. Eight years? That’s not possible..

  5. That’s sad I really liked Uncle Frank. My heart goes out to the entire family.

  6. So very sorry to hear about Uncle Frank. I was very concerned when he wasn’t on a few months back. I’m glad he got to come back and leave all of us with some final laughs. My deepest sympathy to Jimmy, Sal, Chippy and Franks daughters and grandchild.

    Uncle Frank you will be so missed!!!!! You were great with Jimmy and Guillermo!! I loved you even though I didn’t know you.


  7. I will miss Uncle Frank. My condolences to Jimmy and his family for your loss. Even though we only watched him on your show he has like part of our family. Rest in peace Uncle Frank, you are missed by all.