Standup comic John Pinette dead at 50; acted in 'Seinfeld' finale
April 7, 2014 -- Updated 1557 GMT (2357 HKT)
John Pinette performed as part of "CMT Presents Ron White's Comedy Salute to the Troops" in February 2012.
- NEW: Addiction "took a toll," but Pinette was "clean and sober" at the end, manager says
- His character was carjacked in the "Seinfeld" finale
- Pinette died of natural causes, official says
- "He was an extremely funny guy and a great human," Russell Peters says
(CNN) -- Comedian John Pinette was found dead in a Pittsburgh hotel room Saturday, the Allegheny County medical examiner's office said Monday.
Pinette, 50, died of natural causes stemming from "a medical history he was being treated for," the medical examiner's spokesman said. An autopsy will not be done since his personal doctor signed the death certificate.
Pinette toured the comedy club circuit for more than two decades, but he may be best known for his role in the series finale of "Seinfeld" in 1998. His character, Howie, was a carjacking victim in the last episode.
Although past addiction problems "took a toll on his body," Pinette was "clean and sober" at the end, his longtime manager Larry Schapiro said Monday.
Pinette, who once weighed 450 pounds, slimmed to 250 pounds in the past two years. His dramatic weight loss was the subject of a new comedy set he was developing that he titled "They Call Me Slim," Schapiro said.
His manager shared his opening line: "You know how they say in every fat person there's a skinny person waiting to come out? Well, mine came out, and mine was fat."
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Photos: People we lost in 2014
Pinette was in college working on an accounting degree when he started performing at open mic nights at Boston comedy clubs in the 1980s, Schapiro said. He was working at a bank when he was offered $100 a night to perform at a club.
"He went to work the next day but went to lunch and never came back," Schapiro said.
He had a reputation among his friends and fellow comedians as a brilliant, incredibly funny and kind man.
"He couldn't walk past a homeless person without giving them a $20," Schapiro said. "He would say, 'There but for the grace of God go I.' "
Comedians who knew and toured with Pinette expressed their condolences through Twitter.
"He was an extremely funny guy and a great human," Russell Peters said.
Bob Saget wrote, "Funny man. Kind man."
Dane Cook posted that he did a film with Pinette. "He was one of the most generous people I've ever worked with. A hilarious comedian. Sad loss."
"A headliner both on an off stage," Bill Burr said. "Such a great man. Truly inspirational."
"I was so lucky to work so many gigs with John Pinette who was as kind as he was funny," wrote Caroline Rhea. "So very sad for his family. Way too young."
People we lost in 2014
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November 23, 2014 -- Updated 1806 GMT (0206 HKT)
Click through our gallery to remember those we lost this year.
November 23, 2014 -- Updated 2118 GMT (0518 HKT)
Former Washington Mayor Marion Barry has died at age 78.
November 20, 2014 -- Updated 2340 GMT (0740 HKT)
Mike Nichols, the award-winning director and pioneering comedian who was one of the few people to win an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony award, has died at 83.
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Diem Brown, the MTV reality star whose fight against cancer was an inspiration to many, lost that long battle at the age of 32.
November 15, 2014 -- Updated 0224 GMT (1024 HKT)
Former Chicago Mayor Jane Byrne -- the first and, even now, only woman to lead that city -- has died.
November 13, 2014 -- Updated 1112 GMT (1912 HKT)
Actress Carol Ann Susi, whose brash Brooklyn accent reverberated on the hit television series "The Big Bang Theory," has died after a battle with cancer.
November 12, 2014 -- Updated 1535 GMT (2335 HKT)
A member of the Sugarhill Gang, whose pioneering hit "Rapper's Delight" brought hip hop to mainstream audiences 35 years ago, died at age 57.
November 4, 2014 -- Updated 2020 GMT (0420 HKT)
Tom Magliozzi, half of the "Click and Clack" team of brothers who hosted NPR's "Car Talk" radio show, died at age 77.
November 2, 2014 -- Updated 1412 GMT (2212 HKT)
Wayne Richard Wells, the frontman and founder of the California metal band Static-X, has died. He was 48.
October 30, 2014 -- Updated 2127 GMT (0527 HKT)
Thomas Menino, who retired this year as the longest-serving mayor in Boston history, has died at 71 after a battle with cancer.
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Elizabeth Norment, best known for her role as loyal secretary to Kevin Spacey's character on "House of Cards," died of cancer at 61.
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Zambian President Michael Sata, who was nicknamed "King Cobra" for his fiery comebacks and larger-than-life personality, has died. He was 77.
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Jack Bruce, bassist for the legendary 1960s rock band Cream, has died at 71.
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Ben Bradlee, the charismatic Washington Post editor who guided the paper through the era of the Pentagon Papers and Watergate, has died. He was 93.
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 1819 GMT (0219 HKT)
Legendary fashion designer Oscar de la Renta, who spent half a century putting high society in haute couture, has died. He was 82.