What Was John Zderko of ‘Criminal Minds’ Cause of Death?

by Megan Molseed

The television world has suffered a loss as actor John Zderko of Criminal Minds and The Mentalist fame has died due to complications related to his cancer treatment. The actor, who was just 60 years old at the time of his passing was battling the disease for a number of years and was undergoing cancer treatments in Los Angeles, California.

The news first broke when fellow actor, Charley Koontz spoke out on social media shortly after his friend’s passing. Koontz, who many television viewers remember for his character Neil in the Dan Harmon-led comedy series Community shared a touching tribute to Zderko, noting that his friend is a “gifted actor,” and a “generous scene partner.”

 “A great friend and an excellent actor gone way too soon,” Koontz writes of his friend in the touching post.

“Thank you so much to @THR and @MikeBarnes4 for giving our friend a true Hollywood send off,” the message continues. “Your name in lights one more time, John. Love you pal. RIP.”

John’s friend Charley, who some might remember as playing Neil in Dan Harmon’s “Community,” first broke the news of his friend’s death. 

At the time of his death, he wrote via Twitter, “RIP to my friend John Zderko. A gifted actor, a generous scene partner, one of my best friends and a truly kind person in a world that needs more of them. Love you, pal. Onward.”

Later this year, fans can expect to see the late-actor on-screen one last time as he appears in the upcoming Bleeker Street film, Breaking. The film premiered this year at the annual Sundance film festival and is set to hit theaters in July. Breaking also features well-known actors John Boyega and Michael K. Williams.

Zderko grew up around the country, growing up in Ohio, Colorado, and New Jersey. The actor attended Park Ridge High School where he competed on the basketball team with the late Sopranos star, James Gandolfini.

John Zderko graduated from the University of California, Irvine. He went on to build a successful career in business. However, he found a calling to acting later in life and began attending night acting classes at UCLA.

Zderko’s acting career began in Santa Monica in a West of Broadway production. The actor’s first on-screen credit came in 2005 when he took on a role in the short film Twilight. He later landed roles in the 2014 film Apparitional which is also known as Haunting of Cellblock 11. 

In addition to his television roles on Criminal Minds and The Mentalist, John Zderko found success on Fox’s 9-1-1 Lone Star and Amazon Freevee’s Bosch: Legacy.