Actor Stephen Furst, best known for his performances as the hapless Flounder in Animal House and put-upon rookie doc Eliott Axelrod on St. Elsewhere, died yesterday at his home in Moorpark, California, near Los Angeles, due to complications from diabetes.
His death was announced by his sons Nathan and Griffith Furst, who asked that fans “celebrate his life by watching one of his movies or use one of his bits to make someone else laugh – really, really hard.” See their entire statement below.
Furst had a couple of small credits before landing the part of Kent “Flounder” Dorfman in 1978’s Animal House. He went on to reprise the role in TV’s short-lived Delta House in 1979.
Guest credits on series like The Jeffersons, Chips and Newhart preceded his second most-memorable role, as Dr. Axelrod on the groundbreaking St. Elsewhere, a performance by turns comic and dramatic as he was forever subjected to the ire of William Daniels’ tyrannical Dr. Mark Craig.
He later played Vir Cotto in the 1994-98 Babylon 5, and was the voice of Booster in TV’s Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, among numerous other roles. He was also a spokesperson for the American Diabetes Association.
Furst is survived by his wife Lorraine, his sons and two grandchildren.
Here is the statement tweeted by his sons.
And here he’s remembered by his Babylon 5 costar Bruce Boxleitner: