Health

'Animal House' Actor Stephen Furst Dies At 63

| by Sean Kelly

Actor Stephen Furst, known for his iconic role of Flounder in "Animal House," died at the age of 63. 

Furst's son, Nathan, confirmed his father's death to CNN.

"It was from complications from diabetes," he told the network. "Over the last several years it was getting worse a little bit. Sort of the typical things that tend to happen when you have diabetes a long time."

Furst was diagnosed with diabetes in 1996 and later appeared in an educational video for the American Diabetes Association after losing more than 85 pounds.

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Nathan Furst and his brother, Griffith, remembered their dad in a Facebook post.

"Steve has a long list of earthly accomplishments. He was known to the world as a brilliant and prolific actor and filmmaker, but to his family and many dear friends he was also a beloved husband, father and kind friend whose memory will always be a blessing," the post read, Rolling Stone reported. 

"To truly honor him, do not cry for the loss of Stephen Furst. But rather, enjoy memories of all the times he made you snicker, laugh, or even snort to your own embarrassment. He intensely believed that laugher is the best therapy, and he would want us to practice that now."

Burst's breakout role in the classic 1978 comedy, "Animal House," came after he first appeared in TV shows like "St. Elsewhere" and "Babylon 5." His most famous line in the comedy also became one of the most quoted.

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"Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son," Furst's advises in his line.

In a 1985 interview, Furst said he started acting in high school because he was self-conscious about his weight.

"I'm one of the most insecure people in the world, always have been, and when you're a fat kid, you try to make the fat jokes before other people make them," he said. 

"I went to high school in Virginia Beach, Va., and we had these guys, they were surfers. They didn't like me, never talked to me. And if they didn't like you, they threw toothpicks at you. After I did a play, it was different. I found out I was pretty good at something." 

In addition to his sons, Furst is survived by Lorraine Wright, his wife of 41 years. He was born in 1955 and became an orphan at age 16 before being raised by his aunt. 

Sources: CNN, Rolling Stone / Photo credit: Lois Benton/Wikimedia Commons

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