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Stephen Furst, perhaps best known as Flounder in 1978’s Animal House, died Friday from complications with diabetes, the actor’s rep tells The Hollywood Reporter. He was 63.
His two sons, Nathan and Griffith Furst, announced the news Saturday on the actor’s Facebook page, paying tribute to their “brilliant and prolific actor and filmmaker” father.
“Steve has a long list of earthly accomplishments,” his sons said in the post. “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.”
Furst was also known for playing the role of Dr. Axelrod on the 1980s medical TV drama St. Elsewhere, and later as Vir Cotto on the sci-fi series Babylon 5, which he occasionally directed as well.
After his breakout role of Kent “Flounder” Dorfman in Animal House, Furst made guest appearances on TV shows such as Newhart, CHiPs and The Jeffersons until he landed the part on St. Elsewhere, which aired from 1982 to 1988.
“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,” wrote his sons in their post. “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.”
Several of his Animal House and Babylon 5 co-stars and friends took to social media on Saturday to remember Furst:
Ah, Flounder! You fucked up. You trusted us!
But we loved ya, Pal. Rest In Peace. https://t.co/blrvF8dGou
— Tim Matheson (@Tim_Matheson) June 18, 2017
I am heartbroken to learn of the passing of my friend Steven Furst. A kind heart , great talent and beautiful human being.
— Howie Mandel (@howiemandel) June 17, 2017
I just received news of the passing of another member of our #Babylon5 family. Stephen Furst “Vir Cotto,” RIP, my friend.
— Bruce Boxleitner (@boxleitnerbruce) June 17, 2017
On behalf of everyone who worked on Babylon 5, Stephen Furst will be missed profoundly and everlastingly.
— JMichael Straczynski (@straczynski) June 17, 2017
Oh boy, was he great. Farewell Flounder. RIP Stephen Furst. pic.twitter.com/MKe3M3jPgR
— edgarwright (@edgarwright) June 18, 2017
— KevinSmith (@ThatKevinSmith) June 18, 2017
See his sons’ full Facebook post below.
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