In budding yeast, many proteins involved in endocytic internalization, including adaptors and actin cytoskeletal proteins, are localized to cortical patches of differing protein composition. Using multicolor real-time fluorescence microscopy and particle tracking algorithms, we define an early endocytic pathway wherein an invariant sequence of changes in cortical patch protein composition correlates with changes in patch motility. Three Arp2/3 activators each showed a distinct behavior, suggesting distinct patch-related endocytic functions. Actin polymerization occurs late in the endocytic pathway and is required both for endocytic internalization and for patch disassembly. In cells lacking the highly conserved endocytic protein Sla2p, patch motility was arrested and actin comet tails associated with endocytic patch complexes. Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching of the actin comet tails revealed that endocytic complexes are nucleation sites for rapid actin polymerization. Attention is now focused on the mechanisms by which the order and timing of events in this endocytic pathway are achieved.