Alan Arkin: goodbye to the great grandfather of “Little Miss Sunshine”

Alan Arkin in a scene from “Little Miss Sunshine”

Alan Arkin, the character actor who demonstrated his versatility in comedy and drama by receiving four Academy Award nominations and winning an Oscar in 2007 for “Little Miss Sunshine,” has died at 89.

His sons Adam, Matthew and Anthony confirmed their father’s death through the actor’s publicist on Friday. “Our father was a uniquely talented force of nature, both as an artist and as a man,” they said in a statement.

A member of Chicago’s famed Second City comedy troupe, Arkin was an immediate hit in films with the Cold War spoof “The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming” and peaked toward the end of his life with his Best Supporting Actor win for the popular 2006 film “Little Miss Sunshine.” More than 40 years after his first Oscar nomination, for “The Russians Are Coming,” he was nominated again for playing a conniving Hollywood producer in the Oscar-winning “Argo.”

In recent years, he starred opposite Michael Douglas in the Netflix comedy series “The Kominsky Method,” a role that earned him two Emmy nominations.

While still in Second City, Arkin was cast by Carl Reiner to play the young lead in the 1963 Broadway play “Enter Laughing,” based on Reiner’s semi-autobiographical novel.

Arkin starred in “Alone in the Dark” as an evil drug dealer who holds a blind woman (Audrey Hepburn) captive in her apartment, believing a shipment of narcotics is hidden there. He recalled in a 1998 interview how difficult it was to terrify Hepburn’s character: “Just horrible. She was an exquisite lady, so being mean to her was hard.”

Over the years, Arkin has appeared in movie favorites like “Edward Scissorhands,” playing Johnny Depp’s neighbor; and in the film version of David Mamet’s “Glengarry Glen Ross” as a headstrong real estate salesman. He and Reiner played brothers, one successful (Reiner), one struggling (Arkin), in the 1998 film “The Slums of Beverly Hills.”

Other recent credits include 2017’s “Going in Style,” a remake of the original 1979 film, starring fellow Oscar winners Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman, and the television series “The Kominsky Method.” ”.

Arkin also directed the film version of Jules Feiffer’s 1971 black comedy “Little Murders” and Neil Simon’s 1972 play about feuding old vaudeville buddies, “The Sunshine Boys.” On television, Arkin appeared in the short-lived series “Fay” and “Harry” and played a judge in Sidney Lumet’s drama series “100 Center Street” on A&E. He also wrote several children’s books.

Born in the New York borough of Brooklyn, he and his family, which included two younger brothers, moved to Los Angeles when he was 11 years old. His parents found jobs as teachers, but were fired during the post-World War II Red Scare because they were communists.

He studied acting at Los Angeles City College; California State University, Los Angeles; and Bennington College in Vermont, where she was awarded a scholarship. He married a fellow student, Jeremy Yaffe, and they had two sons, Adam and Matthew.

After he and Yaffe divorced in 1961, Arkin married actress and writer Barbara Dana, and they had a son, Anthony. All three sons became actors: Adam starred in the television series “Chicago Hope.” “It wasn’t anything I pushed them into,” Arkin said in 1998. “I didn’t care at all what they did, as long as it allowed them to grow.”

Arkin began his entertainment career as an organizer and singer with The Tarriers, a group that briefly rode the wave of the late 1950s folk music revival. -Broadway and always in dramatic roles.

We would like to give thanks to the writer of this write-up for this outstanding content

Alan Arkin: goodbye to the great grandfather of “Little Miss Sunshine”