Joseph Kosala

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Joseph F. Kosala (August 22, 1946 – March 22, 2015), also known as Joe Kosala[1][2] was an American character actor and retired sergeant of the Chicago Police Department. He was also best known for portraying Detective Rosetti in the Andrew Davis film The Fugitive (1993).[3]

His father Walter was a decorated U.S. Army tank commander who served in the European theater in World War II and his mother was a political refugee who met her father at a displaced persons' camp.[3] Kosala served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War era.[3][4] In 1971, he graduated from the police academy and served in the Chicago Police Department for thirty-four years until his retirement in 2006.[1][3] He was father of three daughters: Tammy, Jennifer and Colleen.[4] He was known by his peers as "Sergeant Joe."[3]

Of the eight films Kosala appeared in, six of them were directed by Chicago native Andrew Davis.[3] The first of these six movies was Code of Silence (1985) and according to Davis, "I first met Joe in probably 1984 or 1985 during location scouting for Code of Silence, and he helped us a lot on our films. He worked as the technical supervisor, and he did a lot for the film. That famous scene in the film where the two guys try to rob the cop bar, that's a true story that Joe told me and we worked it into the film."[3] Kosala would often portray police officers, detectives or lieutenants in the films he appeared in, though he did portray an engineering specialist in Davis's Under Siege (1992).[1][3] The other three Davis films he appeared in are Above the Law (1988), Steal Big Steal Little (1995) and Chain Reaction (1996).[1][3]

The other two films Kosala appeared in are Primal Fear (1996) and Novocaine (2001), the latter film being his last acting credit.[3] He also appeared on television in episodes of Early Edition and ER.[1] In addition to acting, Kosala also worked as a technical advisor in such films as Code of Silence (as previously mentioned by Davis), Above the Law, The Package (1989; also directed by Davis) and U.S. Marshals (1998; the spinoff to The Fugitive).[1]

Kosala died on March 22, 2015 at the age of 68.[1][3][4] The cause of death was from complications of congenital liver failure.[3]


Year Title Role Notes
1985 Code of Silence Lieutenant Kobas
1988 Above the Law Lieutenant Fred Strozah
1992 Under Siege Engine Room Watch Officer
1993 The Fugitive Detective Rosetti
1995 Steal Big Steal Little Sheriff Joe
1996 Primal Fear Cop
1996 Chain Reaction Sergeant Joe Byczkowski
2001 Novocaine Officer Peter Reilly (final film role)


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Lentz III, Harris M. (2016). Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 2015. McFarland. ISBN 9780786476671. page 191
  2. ^ Toloken, Steve (6 September 1993). "Police Find That Being Movie Extras Often Proves, Well, Kind Of Arresting". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 19 May 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l McGavin, Patrick Z. (27 March 2015). "Joe Kosala, Chicago police sergeant, film actor, dead at 68". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 19 May 2016.
  4. ^ a b c "Joseph Kosala". Chicago Tribune. 5 April 2015. Retrieved 19 May 2016.

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