Alan Arkin, Oscar-Winning Actor, Dead At 89

Alan Arkin has died at the age 89.

By Zack Zagranis | Updated

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Alan Arkin, legendary actor with over 110 credits to his name, died yesterday at the age of 89. Variety reports that the actor who won an Oscar for the film Little Miss Sunshine was at his home in Carlsbad, California, when he passed. The cause of death isn’t known at this time.

The actor’s three sons, Adam, Matthew, and Anthony, issued a joint statement: “Our father was a uniquely talented force of nature, both as an artist and a man. A loving husband, father, grand and great grandfather, he was adored and will be deeply missed.”

Alan Arkin was a brilliant actor able to play both dramatic and comedy roles with equal enthusiasm. Not many actors have a filmography so eclectic it ranges from Glengarry Glen Ross to The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause, but Arkin’s talent was just that prolific. Movies like Little Miss Sunshine even allowed Arkin to do comedy and tragedy in the same film.

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Alan Arkin in Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

The actor might be best known to current audiences as Norman Newlander in the Netflix original The Kominsky Method. The role won him back-to-back Emmy nominations for outstanding supporting actor opposite Michael Douglas.

Beyond the twin Emmy noms and the above-mentioned Oscar, Alan Arkin’s impressive 72-year career earned him numerous nominations and accolades, too numerous to list.

Despite being recognized mostly for his work onscreen, Arkin began his career on Broadway, first as an actor and later as a director. Arkin started out acting in plays such as Enter Laughing, for which he won a Tony, before graduating to directing on shows like The Sunshine Boys, for which he was nominated for another Tony, this time for direction.

As successful as Alan Arkin was on stage, his true calling came from Hollywood.

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Alan Arkin and Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)

The actor’s breakout movie role was in 1966’s The Russians Are Coming the Russians Are Coming, and from there, he never stopped. Alan Arkin’s last film role was as the voice of Wild Knuckles in last year’s Minions: The Rise of Gru. While it might not sound like a very prestigious movie for the Little Miss Sunshine star to go out on, Arkin had no ego when it came to the characters he portrayed.

Alan’s filmography is littered with genre fare like the little-known 1983 superhero musical The Return of Captain Invincible, animated classics like 1982’s The Last Unicorn, and suburban-gothic fairy tales like 1990s cult classic Edward Scissorhands.

No role was too weird for Alan Arkin. He even had a small but memorable part in the criminally underrated Mike Meyers comedy So I Married an Axe Murderer.

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Alan Arkin in The Kominsky Method

Somewhere in between his many acting gigs, Alan Arkin found the time to write several books, including two memoirs, and co-write a version of “The Banana Boat Song” —better known as “Day-O”—with his folk group The Tarriers. Arkin was married three times, divorced twice, and helped to raise three sons. When the man found time to sleep is a mystery for the ages.

Alan Arkin left behind a legacy that guarantees fans will be discovering his work decades, even centuries, after his death. He was a great talent and he will be missed.