Some family members watched “The Week Of” with Jim Barone during his recent stay in the intensive care unit at Yale-New Haven Hospital.
Barone, who played the part of Uncle Seymore in the Adam Sandler film for Netflix, liked to watch the movie often, according to his family.
As the film ended, Barone – a double amputee who was battling an illness – took his last breath. He died on Oct. 29 at the age of 57.
His daughter, Alicia Barone, said her father was proud of his only theatrical performance, asking everyone he encountered if they had watched the film.
“That was probably the highlight of his last year,” Alicia Barone said.
Prior to his moment of fame, Barone built boats, including some that were used in Olympic competition, his family said. He also worked as a telecom technician at Yale University.
Alicia Barone said her father was in and out of Gaylord Hospital in Wallingford with health issues during the past year. He was in Gaylord when “The Week Of” debuted in April, and the hospital held a screening for patients.
Meg Barone, one of Barone’s sisters, said some of the other siblings were more inclined to perform growing up, and that Jim Barone never showed an interest in acting.
“We were the professional performers, and here this brother got the major performance,” she joked.
The character Seymore is a World War II veteran who lost both his legs and is perpetually grumpy towards his family. He is grand uncle to Kenny Lustig, played by Sandler, a middle class father struggling to pay for his daughter’s wedding as her fiancé’s wealthy father, Kirby Cordice played by Chris Rock, futilely offers his help.
Meg Barone said her brother enjoyed his brief acting stint and talked about becoming a stand-up comedian, or, as he put it, “a sit-down comedian.”
“My brother’s always been very funny,” she said, adding he maintained his sense of humor even through his health problems.
Jim Barone was in Yale-New Haven Hospital for a little more than a week before he died. A few days prior to his death, Meg Barone said he received a call from Sandler.
She said one of Barone’s friends notified the movie production company of his illness and the company notified Sandler.
Calling hours will be Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. at Sisk Brothers Funeral Home, 3105 Whitney Ave., Hamden. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Saturday at 10 a.m. at St. Rita Church, 1620 Whitney Ave., Hamden. Burial will be private.
In lieu of flowers the family requests donations to Gaylord Hospital, 50 Gaylord Farm Rd, Wallingford, CT 06492.