Coroner: Pastorelli's Death Drug-Related
04/08/2004 at 12:00 AM EDT
The Los Angeles County coroner's office has confirmed that former "Murphy Brown" actor Robert Pastorelli died last month of an accidental heroin overdose, according to the Smoking Gun Web site, which has posted portions of the findings.
On March 8, Pastorelli's assistant found the actor slumped over on the toilet of his Hollywood home, a syringe sticking from his right arm.
According to the coroner, Pastorelli's death resulted from a "fatal blood concentration of morphine." Sources cited in the report say Pastorelli, 49, previously battled heroin addiction and had been depressed since the 1999 suicide of his girlfriend, Charemon Jonovich, 25. The two had a daughter together, Gianna, who reportedly was born Feb. 6, 1998.
In other details in the report, after describing what Pastorelli was wearing (and noting that paramedics had to rip his shirt to get to his chest to perform CPR), it was noted that he was sporting a toupee and "multiple tattoos," and had what appeared to be "a possible needle puncture mark on his right (upper arm)."
The evidence found near his body, the report also states, included "one uncapped syringe, one white metal spoon with a dark residue and a small piece of cotton in it, one clear plastic bag of a white powder substance and one prescription medicine, Purinethol."
Purinethol is often used in the treatment of leukemia, according to information on several medical Web sites.
Just a month before his death, Pastorelli finished work on "Be Cool," the sequel to 1995's "Get Shorty," in which he plays hit man Joe Loop.
Pastorelli appeared in films such as "Outrageous Fortune," "Beverly Hills Cop II" and "Dances with Wolves." But his biggest part turned out to be CBS's hit sitcom "Murphy Brown," and from 1988-1994 he played opposite Candice Bergen as her quirky house painter, Eldin.