Oscar winner Alan Arkin, the unforgettable character actor best known for his work on «Little Miss Sunshine» and «Argo,» died in California this week, family members said Friday.
Arkin was 89 years old when he died Thursday at the San Diego County Community of Carlsbad.
“Our father was a uniquely talented force of nature, both as an artist and as a man. A loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, he was adored and will be sorely missed,» according to a statement from the family to NBC News.
No cause of death was immediately released.
Arkin was a four-time Oscar nominee and best actor nominee for «The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming» in 1966 and «The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter» in 1968.
He earned supporting actor nominations for «Little Miss Sunshine» in 2006 and «Argo» in 2012.
May «Sunshine» win was a surprise in a field that included Jackie Earle Haley for «Little Children,» Djimon Hounsou for «Blood Diamond,» Eddie Murphy for «Dream Girls» and Mark Wahlberg for «The Departed.»
black comedy it was an independent success with Arkin playing the grandfather of an eccentric child beauty contestant played by Abigail Breslin. Arkin’s character dies about halfway through the film.
«More than anything, I am deeply touched by the candid appreciation our little film has received that in these fragmented times speaks so openly to the possibility of innocence, growth and connection,» Arkin said after being handed over his golden statue.
Some moviegoers may know Arkin from «Argo,» playing a foul-mouthed movie executive who teams up with a CIA agent played by Ben Affleck and a make-up artist played by John Goodman to set up the production of a fake movie to sneak into Iran.
«Argo» was based on the actual CIA rescue of several US Embassy employees who hid inside the home of Canadian ambassador during the Iranian hostage crisis.
Arkin started with the famous the Second City Comedy Troupe, that launched him into a decades-long career. His first big role was in the Cold War comedy «The Russians are Coming,» which featured fellow comedians Carl Reiner and Jonathan Winters.
His unique brand of comedy carried Arkin well into the 21st century, starring opposite Michael Douglas in the Netflix show «The Kominsky Method.»
Arkin could also play darker, more serious roles, like 1992’s «Glengarry Glen Ross,» about a dysfunctional real estate office. The famous film was co-starred by Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon and Alec Baldwin.
That kind of range inspired actors like michael mckeanwho wrote a multi-tweet tribute to Arkin.
“When I was a young actor, people wanted to know if I wanted to be a serious actor or a funny one,” McKean tweeted after Arkin’s death. «I would answer ‘What type is Alan Arkin?’ and that silenced them”.
Alan Wolf Arkin was born in Brooklyn on March 26, 1934, the son of two schoolteachers who found themselves caught up in the post-World War II Red Scare and often unemployed.
“We were very poor, so I couldn’t afford to go to the movies often,” Arkin told The Associated Press in 1998. “But I went whenever I could and I focused on the movies because they were more important than anything else in my life. life. .”
Arkin’s other notable roles included «Catch-22» in 1970, «The In-Laws» in 1979 and «The Slums of Beverly Hills» in 1998 and «Minions: The Rise of Gru» last year.
EGOT winner Viola Davis posted a clip of Arkin from «Sunshine» and told him posthumously: «We were touched, sir.»
«Your work inspired a generation of actors and reminded us how powerful our art can change us,» Davis wrote.
Arkin’s death shocked Sheryl Lee Ralph.
«I know we all die, but somehow I thought I would live forever,» said the The «Abbott Elementary» actor wrote.
«Kominsky» co-star Michael Douglas said his time with Arkin was one of his most memorable.
«Today we lost a wonderful actor whose intelligence, sense of comedy and consummate professionalism over the past 70 years have left an indelible mark on our industry,» Douglas wrote on Instagram.
«My experience working with Alan was one of the most memorable. He will be sorely missed.»
Arkin is survived by three sons, Adam, Matthew and Anthony, who followed in their father’s footsteps as an actor.
in a 2007 following interviews Upon the release of «Sunshine,» Arkin said he embraced the quirky personalities that come with being known as one of Hollywood’s leading character actors.
«I used to think my stuff had a lot of variety. But I realized that for the first 20 years or so, most of the characters I played were outsiders, outsiders in their surroundings, foreigners in one way or another,» Arkin said. .
«As I started to get more and more comfortable in myself, that started to change. I got one of the nicest compliments I’ve gotten from someone a few days ago. They said they thought my characters were very often the heart, the center moral of a movie. I didn’t particularly understand it, but I liked it, it made me happy.»