A great character actor can disappear so completely into a role that you forget you are watching a show. In some cases, they may even make you forget their past appearances. Such was the case with the stage, TV and film actor Leonardo Cimino, who logged three guest shots on “Equalizer”.
In season 2’s “Counterfire,” he played a jailed Mafioso who sends his hot-haired son (Vincent D’Onofrio) to prevent a witness from testifying in a case that could extend his prison stay. Two seasons later, Cimino played his first of two appearances as Dr. Molinari, a helpful medico who helped McCall in a case of a fatal disease outbreak (“The Visitation”) and then again in a series of “death angels” murders committed by a junk paramedic in “17 Zebra.”
Cimino, whose career began on stage in the late 1930s, matched his unique appearance – slim, small in stature but intensely focused – in film and television from the 1950s to the mid-2000s. His post-“Equalizer” credits are perhaps best summed up by the terrifying German guy in “The Monster Squad,” though his long list of credits includes “The Freshman,” “Moonstruck,” “The Seventh Sign” and “Waterworld.” Cimino played his last screenplay opposite Philip Seymour Hoffman and Ethan Hawke in “Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead” in 2007; five years later, he died from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at the age of 94 years on March 3, 2012.