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I simply forgot last week's update. It happens and I am sorry. I did post about the loss of one of my favorites from Babylon 5; Stephen Furst.

I thought I'd link and copy a few of his obits and such. I WILL have a regular update next week.


Stephen Furst (1955 - 2017)

Stephen Furst, the actor best known for playing Flounder in “Animal House,” died Saturday, June 17, 2017, of complications related to diabetes, according to multiple news sources. He was 63.

Furst’s death was confirmed to TMZ by his son, Nathan, who said he died at his home in Moorpark, California, surrounded by family. Furst, who had diabetes for much of his life, was a spokesman for the American Diabetes Association.

He starred as the awkward fraternity pledge Kent “Flounder” Dorfman in the hit comedy, “National Lampoon’s Animal House” (1978). He reprised the role on the TV sitcom version, “Delta House,” which aired for one season in 1979.

Furst had other notable television roles including Dr. Elliot Axelrod on “St. Elsewhere” (1983-1988), and Vir Cotto on the sci-fi series “Babylon 5” (1994-1998). He also went on to direct three movies for the Sci Fi Channel during the 2000s.

Born May 8, 1954, in Norfolk, Virginia, Furst was a graduate of the theater program at Virginia Commonwealth University.

“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,” his sons wrote in a message to friends and fans on his Facebook page.

Others paid tribute to the actor on social media.

Director Kevin Smith: “As an awkward round kid, Flounder was the Delta I most identified with in Animal House, my fave comedy. Stephen Furst helped shape who I am.”

Actor Bruce Boxleitner: “I just received news of the passing of another member of our #Babylon5 family. Stephen Furst ‘Vir Cotto,’ RIP, my friend.”

Furst is survived by his wife, Lorraine, sons Nathan and Griff, and two grandchildren.

and

Flounder, the hapless fraternity student in the 1978 film National Lampoon’s Animal House, was Stephen Furst’s signature role, and one that Furst, who has died aged 63 of complications from diabetes, was typecast into recapitulating for much of the rest of his career. It’s Flounder (aka Kent Dorfman) who is told by Dean Wormer (John Vernon) that “fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son”. It’s Flounder who, after his friends have trashed his brother’s cherished car, hears Otter (Tim Matheson) explain: “You can’t spend your whole life worrying about your mistakes. You fucked up. You trusted us.”

But the sensitivity Furst brought to Dorfman, who gets into the frat only because, as Stork points out, “we need the dues”, made Flounder real and popular: he had a naive innocence, an unawareness of his physical appearance, and a caring sense of humour. Audiences could imagine him growing into the role of a kinder, gentler version of fellow student Bluto (John Belushi).

And it was totally believable, as the ending sequence of Animal House states, that Flounder would grow up to become executive director of Encounter Groups of Cleveland. That sensitivity made him successful in long runs on two TV series, as Dr Eliot Axelrod on St Elsewhere (1983-88) and then as Vir Coto, the Centauri ambassador who begins as a bumbler and grows into the conscience of the series Babylon 5 (1994-98).
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Flounder gets even in Animal House, 1978

Furst was born in Newport News, Virginia. He lost both his parents to diabetes-related diseases when he was 16, but he went on to study acting at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he met his wife, Lorraine Wright, in a production of Equus. After graduating they moved to Los Angeles; she plays the shop girl in Animal House who sells Flounder 10,000 marbles, but became an entertainment lawyer.

Furst appeared unbilled in a TV series, Movin’ On (1975), and had small parts in two films in 1977. He was delivering pizzas in Hollywood and had put his photograph on each pizza box. When one was delivered to Animal House producer Matty Simmons, he was cast as Flounder; the rest was history.

After Animal House, he played overweight students finding sports success in Take Down and Swim Team (both 1979), and reprised Flounder in the shortlived TV series Delta House. Getting Wasted (1980) was Animal House at a military academy; the cult-favourite Midnight Madness (1980) is Animal House on a scavenger hunt; then came National Lampoon’s Class Reunion (1982).
Stephen Furst, left, with the politician Michael Dukakis, centre, and Howie Mandel in NBC’s St Elsewhere, 1984.
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Stephen Furst, left, with Michael Dukakis, centre, and Howie Mandel in NBC’s St Elsewhere, 1984. Photograph: Robert Gabriel/AP

For Members Only (1983) was a copy of the Animal House-like Caddyshack, and in Up the Creek (1984) he and Matheson played perpetual Animal House characters. Later he had parts in Going Greek (2001) and Sorority Boys (2002); his appearances by then had become ironic. But grateful for the break the role of Flounder had provided, Furst was always a gracious participant in Animal House reunions.
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In 1980, Furst played the title character in The Unseen, a low-budget but interesting horror film, and in 1989 he held his own alongside Michael Keaton, Peter Boyle and Christopher Lloyd in Howard Zieff’s The Dream Team, which was One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest reimagined as a comedy thriller.

He had lead parts in a couple of shortlived TV comedies, as a priest in Have Faith (1989) and in the Cheers-light Misery Loves Company (1995). In the mid-90s his increasing weight exacerbated his diabetes, and he faced amputation of a foot. Describing it as a wake-up call, he lost more than 44kg (7st) in weight. Ironically, one of his last acting roles was in the 2006 film Against Type, whose main character is a fitness instructor with an eating disorder.

As his acting career wound down he did voiceovers for animated series, most notably on Buzz Lightyear of Star Command and Jungle Cubs, but also moved into production. After writing dialogue for The Magic Kid (1993), in which he starred, he co-wrote, directed and starred in the sequel the following year. He directed episodes of Babylon 5 and its spin-off series, Crusade, and formed his own production company, Curmudgeon Films, which made mostly low-budget TV movies, including two he directed under the pseudonym Louie Myman.

He directed the 2006 film Game Day, which his son Griff produced and acted in, while his other son, Nathan, provided the music. He and Griff produced Nick Cassavetes’ independent feature My Sister’s Keeper (2009), based on the Jodi Picoult novel. More recently, he produced the thriller Cold Moon, a romantic comedy, Christmas in Homestead (2016), and the Sharknado homage Atomic Shark (2016).

He is survived by his wife, sons and two grandchildren.

• Stephen Furst (Stephen Nelson Fuerstein), actor, producer and director, born 8 May 1954; died 16 June 2017
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