Alan Arkin, the veteran actor known for his work in Argo and Little Miss Sunshine, has died. He was 89.
Arkin’s sons Adam, Matthew and Anthony confirmed the news in a statement on Friday, June 30, noting that he died at his home in Carlsbad, California, one day prior. “Our father was a uniquely talented force of nature, both as an artist and a man,” the statement read. “A loving husband, father, grand and great grandfather, he was adored and will be deeply missed.”
Celebrity tributes to Arkin immediately poured in via social media, with many praising his ability to succeed across various genres of film and TV. “When I was a young actor people wanted to know if I wanted to be a serious actor or a funny one. I’d answer ‘Which kind is Alan Arkin?’ and that shut them up,” tweeted Michael McKean. “Rest in peace, Alan. Nobody better, ever.”
Patton Oswalt, meanwhile, asked in a Twitter post: “Did ANYONE have the range Alan Arkin had? Hilarious, sinister, insane, tragic. No mood he couldn’t live in. RIP.”
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Born in Brooklyn in 1934, Arkin began taking acting lessons at age 10. After making his film debut in 1957’s Calypso Heat Wave, Arkin was an early member of the famous Second City comedy troupe, which counts Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Stephen Colbert, Bill Murray and Jordan Peele among its alumni.
In 1961, Arkin made his Broadway debut in From the Second City. Two years later, his performance in Enter Laughing earned him a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play.
While Arkin racked up a string of a film credits in the 1960s, his career really took off the following decade when he played Captain John Yossarian in Mike Nichols’ adaptation of the Joseph Heller novel Catch-22. Arkin was also a director, helming 1971’s Little Murders, 1977’s Fire Sale and more.
Arkin worked steadily throughout the 1980s and 1990s, but his role in 2006’s Little Miss Sunshine helped increase his popularity among younger audiences. He won an Oscar and BAFTA Award for his performance as Edwin Hoover, who coaches his granddaughter Olive (Abigail Breslin) for the titular beauty pageant.
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After playing Lester Siegel in 2012’s Argo, Arkin again attracted plenty of awards attention, earning Golden Globe, Oscar, BAFTA and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations.
More recently, Arkin played Norman Newlander in the first two seasons of Netflix’s The Kominsky Method, which also starred Michael Douglas, Paul Reiser and Kathleen Turner. Arkin earned back-to-back Emmy nominations for the role in 2019 and 2020 as well as consecutive SAG Award nods.
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Arkin is survived by his wife, Suzanne Newlander, and sons Adam, 66, and Matthew, 63, whom he shared with ex-wife Jeremy Yaffe, and son Anthony, 56, whom he shared with ex-wife Barbara Dana.