The police officer who inspired several Hollywood classics has sadly passed away today.
On Jan. 6, Hollywood and police enforcement lost one of its greatest men when Dave Toschi — a detective with the San Francisco Police Department — passed away after a lengthy illness. He rose to fame in 1969 when, alongside partner Bill Armstrong, he was put in charge of handling the Zodiac serial-killer case.
Others say that Toschi was the primary inspiration for the two, larger than life cops, played by Steve McQueen’s Bullitt (1968) and Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry (1971).
Mark Ruffalo portrayed Toschi in the movie Zodiac. The police officer remarked: “I thought Ruffalo did a good job. I enjoy it, but it depresses me. After I watch it I get angry at myself because I couldn’t close the case.”
Ruffalo posted yesterday on Instagram: “Dave Toschi just passed away. I played him in Zodiac and got to spend a couple intense days with him. I had 4 pages of questions to ask him. I spent a day with him at his work and we had dinner together and then the next day. As a cop he was naturally suspicious of me but in time we found a lot of commonality in our Italian roots and work ethic. I really came to admire him not only for what he had done as a homicide cop but for the sense of responsibility he carried for the well being of the public his commitment to the rule of law and for the grief he carried about not ever capturing the Zodiac killer. He was a true tragic hero. He lived and exemplary life and was haunted by his experience of the investigation and the political nature of the case. As good and complicated a hero as any other I have gotten the chance to play. I’m honored to have known him, albeit briefly, to have played him and am grateful for the trust he put into me. Condolences to his family and his daughter who he clearly adored and spoke so lovingly of.”
Will you pray for him?