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August 29, 2011

Frank Potenza, Jimmy Kimmel's "Uncle Frank"

Then former New York City police officer was a comic fixture on his nephew's late-night show, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, on ABC

Frank Potenza, known to millions of late-night television viewers as “Uncle Frank” on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live!, died August 23, 2011. He was 77.

Potenza, a former New York City police officer, spent 20 years on the force and as a security guard in Las Vegas and at New York’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral before his nephew, Kimmel, invited him to join his talk show as a guard and costar in 2003.

On the show, Potenza, in uniform, participated in comedy bits with Guillermo Rodriguez, a real-life parking lot security guard for the show. The two men also joined with Veatrice Rice, another show security guard, in discussions of news events. Rice died in 2009.

Kimmel also sent Potenza and his former wife, Conchetta “Chippy” Potenza, on assignments, which included working on a dairy farm and learning self-defense.

Potenza, who lived near the Television Academy's North Hollywood headquarters, was a frequent guest at events held in the Academy's Leonard H. Goldenson and elsewhere on the campus.

A native of Brooklyn, New York, Potenza served in the Korean War before becoming a police officer.

Survivors include three daughters and a granddaughter.

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