Eldin on ‘Murphy Brown’: How Did Robert Pastorelli Die?

CBS Eldin on Murphy Brown

Robert Pastorelli, who played Eldin on Murphy Brown passed away in 2004 at the age of 49. Many fans who didn’t know that he died may notice that he is not on the new season and wonder what happened. How did he die? He was found dead shortly after he was warned that he might be investigated over his girlfriend’s death many years earlier. Read on for more details.

House painter Eldin Bernecky was a fan favorite on the show. Murphy Brown hired the laid-back, philosophical painter to repaint her home, and he stayed in her employment for six seasons. His character was also a talented artist and sometimes he delayed renovations to pursue artistic inspiration. Later, he became a nanny. He was based on a real-life painter, Gabe Kis.  Robert Pastorelli appeared on the show as Eldin from Seasons 1-7 and then returned as a guest star in Season 10. (The actor left the show briefly to star in a sitcom Double Rush, but it only lasted one season.) Eldin was one of the last people seen on Season 10, when he showed up to touch up Murphy’s house.

Robert Pastorelli passed away on March 8, 2004 of a narcotics overdose from morphine. His career declined after his girlfriend died of mysterious circumstances in 1999.

GettyActors Grant Shaud, Robert Pastorelli and Joe Regalbuto attend the cocktail party for the “CBS at 75” in 2003.

On March 15, 1999, Charemon Jonovich — Pastorelli’s girlfriend — was shot in the head and died. Pastorelli told police that they had been arguing and in the middle of their fight, Jonovich, 25, pulled out a handgun and shot herself in the head. The coroner’s office ultimately ruled the cause of death “undetermined,” and police had investigated her death as either an accident or a suicide.

Jonovich and Pastorelli had a daughter together, Gianna, who was born in 1998, People reported.

Pastorelli was exonerated from his girlfriend’s death, but his career declined afterward. He struggled with depression and had battled a heroin addiction.

On March 8, 2004, he was found dead at his home, slumped over a toilet with a syringe in his arm. Next to him was a metal spoon with dark residue and a small piece of cotton on it, a clear plastic bag with white powder, and a prescription for Pureinethol, which is used in the treatment of leukemia.

Just before he died, officials were about to reclassify his girlfriend’s death as a murder rather than a suicide, Fox News reported.  A law enforcement source said that Pastorelli had been warned that he was a suspect and they were planning to arrest him.

The LA coroner later changed her cause of death to a homicide, citing “staging of the crime scene, and scientific evidence the firearm was handled after the discharge.”

The coroner ruled that Pastorelli’s death was caused by a “fatal blood concentration of morphine.”

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