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Stephen Furst, ‘Animal House,’ ‘Babylon 5’ Actor, Dies at 62

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Actor, comedian, and television director Stephen Furst, best known for his roles as Flounder in”Animal House,” Vir Cotto the 90s sci-fi series “Babylon 5,” and Dr. Elliot Axelrod on “St. Elsewhere,” died Friday, due to complications from diabetes, his sons announced. He was 62.

“Actor and comedian Stephen Furst died on June 16, 2017 due to complications from diabetes,” sons Nathan and Griffith said in a statement posted to Furst’s Facebook page. “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,” the statement continues, “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… 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.”

Born in 1955 in Norfolk, Virginia and an alum of the theater program at Virginia Commonwealth University, Furst began his acting career in the mid 1970s. He first came to prominence in the role of fraternity pledge Kent “Flounder” Dorfman in “National Lampoon’s Animal House,” a role he reprised in the short-lived television spinoff, Delta House.

In 1983, Furst joined NBC’s “St. Elsewhere,” playing the role of Dr. Elliot Axelrod until the show ended its run in 1988. His next major television role came in 1994, when he joined the science fiction series “Babylon 5,” playing Centauri diplomat Vir Cotto. Cotto remained one of the show’s central characters throughout its run, and Furst’s iconic wig he wore for the character a geek touchstone.

Furst, who lost both his parents to diabetes at young ages, was open about his struggle with the disease throughout his life. His life was saved thanks to an anonymous kidney donor, a person Furst publicly thanked on his Facebook page years later. Furst was also an advocate for people with diabetes and was a celebrity spokesperson for the American Heart Association.

His other roles include “Midnight Madness,” “National Lampoon’s Class Reunion,” and “The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea,” as well as an appearance on “CHiPs,” among other television shows.

The cast and crew of “Babylon 5” were known for being particularly close-knit, and appropriately they were among the first of Furst’s peers to pay tribute when news of his death became public.

Series creator J. Michael Straczynski called him a “really decent, great, kind guy” and offered his condolences on behalf of the entire show.

“I just received news of the passing of another member of our #Babylon5 family. Stephen Furst “Vir Cotto,” RIP, my friend,” said Furst’s Babylon 5 costar Bruce Boxleitner on Twitter.

“Stephen was always sweet, funny, professional, engaged, open and a joy to know,” fellow “Babylon 5” alum Bill Mumy said. “He and I had some wonderful scenes acting together for five years on Babylon 5. Stephen had great comedic timing and was a fine actor. As a director, he was inventive and a true pleasure to work for. But more importantly, Stephen was a loving father and husband and I was fortunate to call him a friend.”

See the full statement from his sons below.

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Actor and comedian Stephen Furst died on June 16, 2017 due to complications from diabetes. Steve has a long list of…

Posted by Stephen Furst on Saturday, June 17, 2017

More to come.

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Source: the wrap feed

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