Actor, director, and producer Stephen Furst, best known for playing Flounder in Animal House, died Friday of diabetes-related complications at the age of 63, Variety reports. His sons Nathan and Griffith announced their father’s death a post on his Facebook page.
Furst got his start by slipping his headshot into the pizza boxes he was delivering in the 1970s; one of them found its way to producer Matty Simmons, who cast him as legacy pledge and “real zero” Kent “Flounder” Dorfman in 1978’s National Lampoon’s Animal House. Guest appearances on TV shows led to a long-running role as Dr. Elliot Axelrod on St. Elsewhere in the 1980s.
In the 1990s, he played diplomatic attaché/eventual-emperor Vir Cotto on Babylon 5, directing three episodes of the show’s final seasons.* As a director, he went on to make several independent features and a couple of TV movies for SyFy. Through his production banner Curmudgeon Pictures, he produced a variety of films, including the 2009 Cameron Diaz/Abigail Breslin starrer My Sister’s Keeper. He is survived by his sons and Lorraine, his wife of four decades.*
Here is the full statement from his sons:
Actor and comedian Stephen Furst died on June 16, 2017 due to complications from diabetes.
Steve has a long list of earthly accomplishments. He was known to the world as a brilliant and prolific actor and filmmaker, but to his family and many dear friends he was also a beloved husband, father and kind friend whose memory will always be a blessing.
To truly honor him, do not cry for the loss of Stephen Furst. But rather, enjoy memories of all the times he made you snicker, laugh, or even snort to your own embarrassment. He intensely believed that laugher is the best therapy, and he would want us to practice that now.
If you knew him personally, remember his gift for lighting up a room. And no matter who you are, when you think of Steve, instead of being sad, celebrate his life by watching one of his movies or use one of his bits to make someone else laugh – really, really hard.
His sons Nathan and Griffith Furst
*Correction, June 18, 2017: This piece initially misstated that Furst’s wife Lorraine had died earlier in 2017. She is alive and well and we regret the error. Additionally, it misstated that Furst played Vir Costa on Babylon 5. His character’s name was Vir Cotto.