Miami Vice Wiki
This article is about the character from the television series. For the movie rendition, see Zito (Film).
Larry Zito

JD as Zito.jpg

Metro-Dade Detective, OCB, Vice Division
Deceased, killed on orders of Oswaldo Guzman
James Zito (father, deceased)
Elena Zito (mother)
Played By

Detective Lawrence "Larry" Zito (1950 - 1987) was an officer with the Metro-Dade Police Department, working undercover in the Organized Crime Bureau, Vice Division. He was the partner of Detective Stan Switek.

Zito performed surveillance duties with Switek in their "Bug Van". Zito was murdered by Oswaldo Guzman, a gambler he was working undercover to bring down, in 1987.

He was played in the television series by John Diehl.


Life before Vice

Zito was born in 1950 in North Miami-Dade County. to James, a policeman, and Elena Zito, a city councilwoman. James was killed in a shootout in 1961 when Zito was 11.

Joining Vice

In 1979 He joined the Metro-Dade police as an uniformed officer, working his way up to Detective in the Organized Crime Bureau-Vice Division. He was partnered with Stan Switek as the Division's surveillance team in 1981.

Career in Vice

Zito was paired with fellow Detective Stan Switek, who eventually became his best friend, as surveillance specialists, first working undercover on hot electronics merchandise, then working together doing electronic, audio, video, wiretap, and visual surveillance of potential suspects and/or targets, as well as using informants like Izzy Moreno and Noogie Lamont to help them track down "persons of interest". Using their "Bug Van" cover, they helped Valerie Gordon find her missing sister.


Zito death at the hands of Guzman's heavies

Zito was involved in an undercover operation involving a boxer named Bobby Sykes trying to get information on a gambling ring run by a former drug runner named Guzman. Sykes was managed by a man named Moon, who knew Zito's real identity and worked closely with him to protect Sykes and help Zito train. When Moon was killed by Guzman, Zito took over training and managing Sykes when one of Guzman's goons offered him $200K for Sykes' contract. Under direction of Crockett, Zito countered with $250K and "just a taste" of Guzman's gambling action. Guzman sent three of his goons over to the gym after Sykes last win and caught Zito alone, and they killed him by injecting his arm with an overdose of cocaine. Switek found his body shortly afterward.

Personal Life

Zito dated a woman named Darlene, who told him he would be Governor if he did what she told him. They broke up and she eventually hooked up with Switek. Zito's house blew up after a natural gas leak was ignited, after which he moved into an apartment complex. He lost everything except his mailbox, which contained his gas bill. Zito has four sisters and a brother. The brother died of a drug overdose, which contributed to Zito's fear of needles. Zito also is a recovering alcoholic, attending A.A. meetings religiously, and staying sober since 1982. Zito also collected snow globes and loved goldfish. His first goldfish (named "Harry") perished in the explosion that destroyed his house and the Vice team gave him another, which he named "Harriet". After his death, her fate was never revealed.


Zito always rode with Switek in either the Dodge Ram surveillance van or his partner's Ford Thunderbird, and did not appear to own a car of his own. He did own a motorcycle at one point, but it was destroyed when his house burnt down.


Zito's main weapon was a Smith & Wesson 659 in 9mm Parabellum, which he used throughout the series. He was also seen firing an M16A1 in "Out Where the Buses Don't Run", and could also often be seen carrying a Mossberg 500 shotgun, both in standard and Bullpup configurations.

Main Characters:

James "Sonny" Crockett Ricardo "Rico" Tubbs Gina Calabrese Stan Switek Larry Zito "Big Booty" Trudy Joplin Martin "Marty" Castillo Lou Rodriguez

Minor Characters:
Caroline Crockett Billy Crockett Caitlin Davies Isadore "Izzy" Moreno Nugart "Noogie" Lamont Esteban Calderone Orlando Claderone Al Lombard Lester Kosko Valerie Gordon Frank Hackman Oswaldo Guzman Frank Mosca

Miami Vice Film:
James "Sonny" Crockett Ricardo "Rico" Tubbs Trudy Joplin Zito Castillo Gina Calabrese Michael Switek