Actor-director Stephen Furst, best known for his role as Flounder in Animal House, passed away on June 16, 2017 at the age of 63. His son Nathan, confirmed his death was caused by complications from diabetes. “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,” his son continued in a statement.
Furst was born on May 8, 1954 in Norfolk, Virginia, where he later graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University. During the mid-1970s, while looking for acting jobs, Furst worked as a pizza delivery guy in Hollywood – he even included his head shots and résumé in pizza boxes. After producer Matty Simmons saw his photo, Furst was cast as the hapless, beanie-wearing frat boy Flounder in the 1978 movie Animal House. He later reprised this role in the 1979 spinoff series Delta House. Furst had a more serious role, playing Dr. Elliot Axelrod on the NBC series St. Elsewhere from 1983 to 1988. Furst later played an alien ambassadorial aide on Babylon 5, which ran on TNT from 1994 to 1998. Additional credits include Take Down, The Unseen, Up the Creek, Midnight Madness, The Day After, The Dream Team, Have Faith, and Melrose Place. He also served as a voice actor on Freakazoid, Jungle Cubs, Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, and The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea.
In addition to acting work, Furst directed many independent and low budget movies, beginning with the 2001 film Title to Murder. He went on to direct the children’s movie Baby Huey’s Great Easter Adventure, along with three low budget movies for the Sci Fi Channel – Dragon Storm, Path of Destruction and Basilisk: The Serpent King in 2006; co-starring in both of the latter two films. He also produced My Sister’s Keeper, Atomic Shark, Christmas in Homestead, and more recently Cold Moon. This psychological thriller, based on the Michael McDowell book, is set for theatrical release in October 2017.
Furst is survived by his wife of 41 years, Lorraine Wright, and their two sons Nathan and Griff.