updated 08/23/2011 AT 3:00 PM ET
•originally published 08/23/2011 AT 3:15 PM ET
Talk show host Jimmy Kimmel’s beloved Uncle Frank Potenza, a former police officer who became a frequent guest comedian on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, died Tuesday morning at the age of 77.
Kimmel, whose show is on hiatus until next month, Tweeted, “thank you for your kind words about a very kind man - my Uncle Frank - who passed away this morning.”
Prior to engaging in hi-jinx with his nephew on the ABC late-night show, Potenza was a Korean War veteran who worked 20 years as a New York City police officer. He also worked for 20 years as a security guard at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas and at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York.
In 2003, Kimmel asked Potenza to move to Los Angeles to join his then-upstart talk show as security guard and on-air contributor.
“During his nine-year run on-air, ‘Uncle Frank’ contributed many great moments to Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” the show said in a statement. “He was beloved by his co-workers and considered an Uncle to all. His kindness and humor will be missed by everyone he touched.”