The Hollywood acting community is in mourning once again after another beloved performer has passed away. Actor Stephen Furst, perhaps best known as playing Flounder in the comedy classic Animal House, has passed away at the age of 62, from complications due to diabetes. Here’s what his sons Nathan and Griffith Furst had to say in a statement on the actor’s Facebook page.
“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 an 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 laughter 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.”
The statement on Facebook didn’t elaborate on what the diabetes complications were. The actor was born May 8, 1955 in Norfolk, Virginia, and he graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a degree in Theater Arts. He eventually moved to Los Angeles and scored roles in American Raspberry and Movin’ On before landing his iconic role as Kent Dorfman, a.k.a. Flounder, in Animal House. The actor had a job delivering pizzas in Los Angeles, and he started putting his resume and headshot in the pizza boxes to find acting work. He was then discovered by producer Matty Simons, who cast him in Animal House, launching his career.
He reprised his Animal House role as Kent “Flounder” Dorfman in the 1979 TV series Delta House, which only ran for one 13-episode season. He also starred in movies such as Swim Team, Scavenger Hunt, Midnight Madness, The Unseen, Getting Wasted, Silent Rage, Class Reunion and Up the Creek. He was also a series regular on the hit TV series St Elsewhere, where he appeared in 93 episodes as Dr. Elliot Axelrod. In 1994, he was cast as Vir Cotto in the iconic TV series Babylon 5, where he appeared in 110 episodes.
Stephen Furst continued to work regularly throughout the 2000s, appearing in Going Greek, Sorority Boys, Wild Roomies, Everything’s Jake, Seven Days of Jake and the TV movie Basilisk: The Serpent King, which he also directed. The actor is survived by his longtime wife Lorraine Furst, who had a cameo in Animal House as the cashier who sold him the marbles at the end of the movie, and his two sons.