Stephen Furst, best known for his role of Flounder in 1978's "National Lampoon 's Animal House," died in California on Friday at 63 of complications from diabetes.
Furst also starred in the television series "St. Elsewhere" from 1982 to 1988, said The Hollywood Reporter, but most people will recall him as pledge Kent "Flounder" Dorfman in the cult classic "Animal House."
He told the Chicago Tribune in an 1985 interview how noted director John Landis went to bat for him for the Flounder role in "Animal House" after studio executives fretted that he lacked the experience to stand behind stars like John Belushi.
"They didn't think I had enough experience to be in a big-time movie," said Furst. "John told them, 'Listen, this guy is Flounder. He's the guy.'"
Furst, who graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University, appeared in TNT's "Babylon 5" from 1994 to 1998, appeared in ABC's "Have Faith," and had a recurring role on "Melrose Place" in the 1990s, said CNN.
"To truly honor him, do not cry for the loss of Stephen Furst," said his sons Nathan and Griffith Furst on their father's Facebook page, noted THR. "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."
In the Tribune interview, Furst talked about his role as Dr. Elliot Axelrod on "St. Elsewhere." Furst said his character was created for comic relief, but evolved through the series.
"I don't see him as a bumbling character or a dimwit," Furst told the Tribune. "I think he's a wonderful doctor, a soft kind of guy without much confidence in himself. He's thrown into a strange situation, a hospital where his first patient is a guy who put drugs, angel dust, on his corn flakes. He's like a kid in a new school.”
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