Alan Arkin, an actor from Little Miss Sunshine, passed away at age 89


Alan Arkin, a US actor who won an Oscar and a Bafta for his portrayal of the eccentric grandfather in the movie Little Miss Sunshine, has passed away at the age of 89.

Arkin made an Oscar-winning appearance in Ben Affleck's Argo during his eight-decade-long career on the stage and in films.

His sons Adam, Matthew, and Anthony released a statement on his death on Friday.

As an artist and a man, "our father was a singularly talented force of nature," they said.

As a devoted husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, he was adored and will be sorely missed. ".

Actresses Eva Marie Saint, Andrea Dromm, actors Sheldon Collins, John Phillip Law, Alan Arkin and Carl Reiner on set of the movie The Russians Are Coming the Russians Are Coming in 1966
[L-R] John Phillip Law, Alan Arkin, Eva Marie Saint, Andrea Dromm, Sheldon Collins, and Carl Reiner on the set of The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming in 1966.
Alan Arkin pictured in around 1969
A photo of Alan Arkin from the late 1960s.

Though he had acting lessons since he was young and is known for his deadpan comic timing, the New York-born actor, director, and screenwriter got his start in music by singing and playing guitar in a folk band called The Tarriers.

With The Banana Boat Song, which Harry Belafonte later made popular, they had a top five hit in 1956.

He was a college dropout who moved to Chicago in 1960 and joined the Second City improv comedy group early on. He once said that this group "literally saved my life.".

He made a successful Broadway acting debut in the play Enter Laughing in 1963, for which he was nominated for a Tony Award for best actor.

He gained notoriety for his roles in movies like 1966's The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming and later The Heart is a Lone Hunter, both of which earned him Oscar nominations for best actor. The former, a Cold War comedy, earned him a Golden Globe.

He began directing at a young age and received a 1973 Tony nomination for his off-stage work on the play The Sunshine Boys.

His performance in the 2006 film Little Miss Sunshine saw him win an Oscar and a Bafta for best supporting actor. He had previously appeared in the 1990 film Edward Scissorhands alongside Johnny Depp.

The tragicomedy's main plot involved a dysfunctional family's members sending their youngest to a pageant for young girls.

The foul-mouthed grandfather Edwin Hoover, who was evicted from a retirement community for snorting heroin, was played by Arkin in the movie. Edwin Hoover moves in with his family.

He then instructs his granddaughter Olive, a would-be beauty queen, in stripteases as part of her preparation for the pageant.

The actor Arkin once remarked of the character, "He's a maniac, but to me he was absolutely believable.".

Although the critics praised his work, the actor never cared about the discussion that surrounded him and his movies.

I've never met Oscar Buzz, he said in jest. Although I've heard a lot about him, I've never actually met the man. ".

Little Miss Sunshine stars Greg Kinnear, Steve Carell, Alan Arkin and Abigail Breslin at the Screen Actors Guild Awards in 2007
At the 2007 Screen Actors Guild Awards were Greg Kinnear, Steve Carell, Alan Arkin, and Abigail Breslin.

He revealed in his 2018 autobiography Out of My Mind that despite his success as a young man, he had been utterly miserable the majority of the time and found acting to be "torture.".

He described how meditation helped him to improve his personal life.

He admitted that he had been a nervous child in an interview with the Guardian around the time of the book's publication, and that acting had given him courage.

He claimed, "I felt like I didn't exist. In many ways, my parents were wonderful individuals, but they lacked affection. I don't recall ever feeling either of them touch me.

Acting was my lifeline to keep from feeling as though I was being obliterated because I felt so ignored that it was as if I didn't even exist. I've felt most alive on stage over a long period of time. ".

Affleck played Lester Siegel, a fictitious Hollywood producer, in the historical drama Argo, which unexpectedly won the best picture Oscar.

The movie takes place during the Iran hostage crisis, where US embassy staff members are held captive. A plan is launched to free them involving the production of a fictitious movie.

Alongside Michael Douglas, Arkin received Emmy Award acting nominations for his TV work on the Kominsky Method, The Pentagon Papers, and Escape from Sobibor.

From 2015 to 2016, he provided the voice of JD Salinger for the Netflix animated series BoJack Horseman.

2019 saw the veteran receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

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