Legendary Oscar winner of ‘Little Miss Sunshine,’ Alan Arkin, passes away

Alan Arkin (Daniel McFadden/Netflix)

Renowned actor Alan Arkin, recognized for his remarkable versatility in both comedic and dramatic roles, has passed away at the age of 89, according to a statement from his family. Arkin, who secured an Academy Award for his portrayal of a drug-using grandfather in the 2006 film “Little Miss Sunshine,” was revered as a multifaceted force of nature, celebrated not only for his artistic talents but also for his roles as a devoted husband, father, and a beloved figure in the lives of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

The loss of Arkin, confirmed exclusively by his sons Adam, Matthew, and Anthony, has left an immense void that will be profoundly felt. Arkin’s most recent work in the Netflix series “The Kominsky Method,” where he co-starred alongside Michael Douglas, garnered Emmy nominations in 2019 and 2020, as well as Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nominations in 2020 and 2021. Despite appearing on screen for just 14 minutes, his performance in “Little Miss Sunshine” earned him the coveted Best Supporting Actor Oscar.

Additionally, his notable role in the 2012 political drama “Argo,” directed by Ben Affleck, led to his fourth Academy Award nomination. Born in Brooklyn to immigrant parents of Russian German Jewish descent, Arkin’s family relocated to Los Angeles during his childhood. Although he initially pursued music, achieving success with The Tarriers and their hit song “The Banana Boat Song” in 1957, Arkin’s passion for acting took center stage.

He became a founding member of the renowned improvisational troupe Second City and continued to explore his musical inclinations by recording several children’s albums with his group, The Babysitter. Arkin’s talent extended beyond the stage as he won a Tony Award for his debut Broadway performance in the 1963 play “Enter Laughing” and a Drama Desk Award for directing the 1968 play “Little Murders,” which he also helmed for the silver screen.

Notably, he directed the original Broadway production of Neil Simon’s “The Sunshine Boys,” which captivated audiences for over 500 performances. In recent times, Arkin earned nominations for the Emmy, Golden Globe, and Screen Actors Guild awards for his comedic portrayal in the popular Netflix series “The Kominsky Method.”

Esteemed colleagues such as Viola Davis and Patton Oswalt paid tribute to Arkin on various social media platforms, acknowledging the profound impact of his work and the limitless range he demonstrated as an actor.

Davis expressed her condolences on Instagram, highlighting how Arkin’s performances inspired an entire generation of actors and illuminated the transformative power of their craft. Oswalt took to Twitter, reflecting on the extraordinary breadth of Arkin’s talent, which effortlessly encompassed humor, malevolence, madness, and tragedy.

His passing marks the end of a truly exceptional era. May he rest in peace, accompanied by the harmonious melodies of angelic voices.


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