John Zderko, an actor who had appeared on such shows as Criminal Minds and The Mentalist has passed according to a report from The Hollywood Reporter. It is said that he died from complications related to the cancer treatment he was receiving. The actor was 60 years old at the time of his passing and living in Los Angeles.
The 60-year-old John Zderko didn’t start acting on a professional level until he was in his mid-40s. Beginning in the early 2000s, the actor began appearing in a number of different shorts with limited roles. In 2012, he made an appearance on The Mentalist in the episode “His Thoughts Were Red Thoughts”. And that same year he also appeared in an episode of Criminal Minds titled “The Company”.
John Zderko would then have a number of different credits in subsequent years. Some of them included 9-1-1: Lone Star, Bosch: Legacy, and the soon-to-be-released Breaking. Zderko also had rather short stint as the lead in the mini-series Dark Forrest as well as a small role in The Player.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, John Zderko came to acting later in life after taking classes at UCLA and finding success with his business. This isn’t the typical path for a working actor but he found roles in a number of different productions happening in the Los Angeles Area. Apparently, his friend and fellow actor Charley Koontz, a regular on CSI: Cyber, Community, and Royal Pains is the one who initially reported that Zderko had passed. Koontz posted a message on his Twitter profile announcing the death of his friend. It was a touching way to remember a friend, someone he clearly respected as a pal and an actor as well. You can see the message from Koontz below.
Newsweek has it that John Zderko had been battling cancer for some time and that this wasn’t a new diagnosis. Though the complications that led to his passing haven’t been officially reported, it’s a tragic story for an actor who was finding a footing in the industry. And apparently, there is one more movie coming on the resume, posthumously, which will be Breaking which stars John Boyega, Michael K. Williams, Nicole Beharie, Selenis Leyva, Connie Britton, and Jeffrey Donovan. It follows a soldier who is struggling with PTSD and other emotional issues as he works back into a post-war life of relative normalcy. The film is set to release this summer.
According to a LinkedIn profile, in addition to acting, John Zderko was also an accounts manager and recruiter for software and IT services. While acting might have been a secondary gig for Zderko, he was clearly finding a footing in the industry as a role player and had been working steadily over the last decade-plus. John Zderko was raised in Ohio and New Jersey, attending Park Ridge High School, and was a classmate and basketball teammate of the late James Gandolfini. Zderko is survived by his sister Karen, brother-in-law Steve, and two nephews.