Alan Wolf Arkin (March 26, 1934 – June 29, 2023) was an American actor, director, and screenwriter. With a career spanning eight decades, he received various accolades, including an Academy Award, a British Academy Film Award, a Golden Globe Award, and a Tony Award. For his work on television, he received six Primetime Emmy Award nominations.
Arkin began his career on the Broadway stage, starring as David Kolowitz in the Joseph Stein play Enter Laughing in 1963, for which he won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play. He returned the following year acting in the comedic play Luv (1964). For his work directing Neil Simon’s 1971 comedic play The Sunshine Boys, he was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play.
Arkin gained stardom with his roles in the films The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming (1966), Wait Until Dark (1967), The Heart is a Lonely Hunter (1968), Popi (1969), Catch-22 (1970), and The In-Laws (1979). He later took on supporting roles in Edward Scissorhands (1990), Glengarry Glen Ross (1992), Grosse Point Blank (1997), Thirteen Conversations About One Thing (2001), Sunshine Cleaning (2007), Get Smart (2008), and Argo (2012). For his performance as a foul-mouthed grandfather in Little Miss Sunshine (2006), he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Known for his roles on television, memorable performances included Leon Felhendler in Escape from Sobibor (1987), and as Harry Rowen in The Pentagon Papers (2003) for which he earned Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited or Series or Movie nominations. From 2015 to 2016, he voiced J.D. Salinger in the Netflix animated series BoJack Horseman. From 2018 to 2019, he starred as a talent agent in the Netflix comedy series The Kominsky Method, earning two consecutive nominations for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series.
In 2006, Arkin appeared in a supporting role in the ensemble comedy-drama Little Miss Sunshine with Greg Kinnear, Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Paul Dano, and Abigail Breslin. His role in the independent film Little Miss Sunshine as a foul-mouthed grandfather with a taste for snorting heroin won him the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role and the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. At 72 years old, Arkin was the sixth oldest winner of the Best Supporting Actor Oscar. On receiving his Academy Award on February 25, 2007, Arkin said:
“More than anything, I’m deeply moved by the open-hearted appreciation our small film has received, which in these fragmented times speaks so openly of the possibility of innocence, growth, and connection”
Trubutes are coming in and A number of Hollywood stars are paying tribute to Alan Arkin, who died at 89.
Statement from family “Our father was a uniquely talented force of nature, both as an artist and a man,” his sons Adam, Matthew and Anthony shared in a joint statement announcing his death. “A loving husband, father, grand and great-grandfather, he was adored and will be deeply missed.”
Michael Douglas wrote on Instagram, “Today we lost a wonderful actor whose intelligence, sense of comedy and consummate professionalism over the past 70 years has left an indelible mark on our industry. My experience of working with Alan were some of my most memorable. He will be deeply missed.”
Arkin’s Little Miss Sunshine co-star Abigail Breslin shared a statement and called him one of the “kindest, gentlest and hilarious actors” she’s ever worked with. “We may not have been related in real life, but he will always be Grandpa in my heart I send my deepest sympathies this his wife Suzanne and his family,” she said.
Jason Alexander was the first star to react to the news, tweeting in part, “Such a wonderful, original voice for comedy. And on the few occasions I was in his presence, a kind and generous soul. I learned so much from watching him. And the laughs I got from his glorious work seem endless.”
RIP Alan Arkin photo credit from Wikpeddea