Death at 89 of Alan Arkin, Oscar-winning supporting role for Little Miss Sunshine

American actor Alan Arkin died on Friday at the age of 89. Several times nominated for the Oscar, he had won the statuette for his role as an obsessed but touching grandfather in “Little Miss Sunshine”.

Hollywood veteran whose career was rich in more than a hundred roles, Alan Arkin died at the age of 89 on Friday. The announcement was made by his children in a statement. “Our father was a uniquely talented force of nature, both as an artist and as a man. A loving husband, father, great and great-grandfather, he was adored and we will be deeply missed” they wrote.

Spotted at the theater

Alan Arkin grew up in a Brooklyn neighborhood in New York, in a family of Jewish intellectuals and artists, immigrants from Russia and Germany. Child of the ball, showing from an early age a passion for music and theater, he nevertheless abandoned his higher education to form his music group, “The Tarriers”.

He even wrote a song in 1956, “The Banana Boat Song”, which will be taken up triumphantly by a certain Harry Belafonte shortly after. Living on makeshifts and odd jobs, he tries as best he can to land a small role on television or in the theater. Luck smiled on him in 1957, when he landed the small role of a singer in the musical film Calypso Heat Wave.

His career took off on stage in the early 60s, when he joined the famous Chicago improvisation troupe, the “Second City Theater”. His first role on Broadway, the main character in Carl Reiner’s play, “Enter Laughing”worth it Tony Award for Best Actor.

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In 1966, he achieved great success in the satirical comedy The Russians Arrive, signed by Norman Jewison, for which he was cited for the Oscar for Best Actor and won the Golden Globe. The following year, he gave the reply to a blind Audrey Hepburn in Alone in the Night, where he played a terrifying psychopath.

Irony: in 1968 he played a deaf-mute in The Heart is a Solitary Hunter; a role for which he obtained his second Oscar nomination. In 1970, he delivered a hilarious performance with the role of Bomber Captain Yossarian, in the anti-war pamphlet Catch 22 (Mike Nichols), before signing with Little Murders his first director. After a few years spent on television, in 1976 he portrayed an astonishing Dr. Freud in the very successful Sherlock Holmes Attacks the Orient Express.

An Oscar, and it starts again

The 80s and 90s marked a half-hearted career for him, punctuated by sometimes questionable artistic choices and frank successes. In the early 90s, he worked under the guidance of Sydney Pollack in Havana, before being summoned by Tim Burton for the needs of Edward Scissorhands.

In 1992, he was part of the impressive cast that made up Glengarry Glen Ross, alongside Al Pacino, Kevin Spacey and Jack Lemmon. After a detour through SF (Bienvenue à Gattaca) and the TV series Tribunal Central directed by Sidney Lumet, in 2006 he portrayed a sex-obsessed (but touching) grandfather in the remarkable Little Miss Sunshine, which earned him the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.

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Very active, the actor shares the posters of the thrillers Firewall (2006) and Secret detention (2008). Alan Arkin then collaborated again with Steve Carell in the comedy Max la menace, inspired by the eponymous television series, before shooting in Marley & moi alongside the couple Owen Wilson / Jennifer Aniston.

Second quality role, he played the husband of Robin Wright in The Private Lives of Pippa Lee then found the band of the Muppets Show, after having participated in an episode in 1980, in the film The Muppets, the return. The actor also takes part in a cleverly set up scam (Thin Ice) and plays Ryan Reynolds’ father in the comedy Standard Exchange.

Supporting role prestige

In 2012, Alan Arkin took part in the very award-winning Argo. He plays for the occasion Lester Siegel, a funny producer in charge with John Goodman of covering Ben Affleck: his performance is nominated for an Oscar in the category Best actor in a supporting role.

The always in form actor also gives the answer to Al Pacino and Christopher Walken in The Last Freedmen before playing Sylvester Stallone’s trainer in the boxing comedy Match Return and rubbing shoulders with Mad Men star Jon Hamm in Million Dollar Arm (another sports-themed film).

In 2019, he reunited with Tim Burton for Dumbo, and played opposite Michael Douglas for two seasons of the Netflix series The Kominsky Method. His ultimate role is in a film not yet released, The Smack, a story of a crook and con man in which he gives the reply to Casey Affleck.

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Death at 89 of Alan Arkin, Oscar-winning supporting role for Little Miss Sunshine