Stephen Furst, filmmaker and actor most known for playing Flounder in Animal House, has died due to complications from diabetes, according to TMZ. He was 63.
The news of his passing was confirmed on his Facebook page by his sons, Nathan and Griffith:
Furst’s breakout role was as Kent “Flounder” Dorfman in 1978’s Animal House, which also starred John Belushi.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the overweight and socially awkward Dorfman and his friend Lawrence “Larry” Kroger (Tom Hulce) pledge the Delta House run by Eric “Otter” Stratton (Tim Matheson) and John “Bluto” Blutarsky (Belushi). The film was directed by John Landis, and was a critical and commercial success.
After Animal House, Furst had roles in Silent Rage, Up the Creek and The Day After. He also starred as the semi-speechless mental patient in The Dream Team, with Michael Keaton and Christopher Lloyd.
Furst then went on to play Dr. Elliot Axlerod on the highly-acclaimed medical drama, St. Elsewhere. The show won 13 Emmy Awards for its writing, acting and directing. TV Guide ranked the show 20th on its list, “The 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time,’ in 2002.
Furst later appeared on the science fiction hit Babylon 5, as Vir. Furst described the character on his official website:
“He got pushed around a lot by his boss Londo, but he did have a limit and would answer Londo back, if only within his own mind,” said Furst. “I loved doing Babylon 5. I always love to play different types of characters and that one was out of this world.”
Furst also directed several films and produced the 2009 drama, My Sisters Keeper, starring Cameron Diaz.
According to his official site, Furst was a spokesman for the American Diabetes Foundation and donated his photo sales to the charity.
Furst is survived by his two sons and his wife of 41 years, Lorraine Wright, according to CNN.