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posted by martyb on Monday June 19, @10:14AM   Printer-friendly
from the R.I.P. dept.

Stephen Furst, who played naive fraternity pledge "Flounder" Dorfman in the hit movie Animal House, has died of complications from diabetes, his family said Saturday. Furst was 63.

Furst's long list of credits included the 1980s medical drama St. Elsewhere, on which he played Dr. Elliot Axelrod. He played Vir Coto and was an occasional director on the 1990s sci-fi series Babylon 5.

The Verge notes Steven Furst's role on Babylon 5 was a remarkable example of a sci-fi sidekick:

Vir might have started out as a meek and bumbling character, but over the course of the show, that changed. In many shows, these characters remain static: funny and deferential to their superiors. While he largely remains at Londo's side throughout the show, he becomes a moral figure in the center of a complicated story. Vir became a rare example of a background character who grows in importance over the course of the story, whose seemingly naïve moralistic qualities become the most important guide for the characters around him. He essentially becomes a stand-in for Londo's conscious, calling out his mentor's disastrous decisions, standing up to powerful figures, and often provides the right and just choice during times of moral ambiguity. In doing so, he becomes an indispensable and heroic character in the show, one who actively influences the outcome of the story.


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  • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Monday June 19, @10:24AM (1 child)

    by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 19, @10:24AM (#527840) Journal

    Rest in Peace, Stephen.

    Even though they were supporting roles, they were iconic. It's a mark of his craft that he could disappear into such diverse characters and make them breathe. Flounder will be the standard of the pledge in all fraternity movies forever. "Virrrr" will be the principled underling, struggling to rein in the excesses of his power-drunk superior.

    --
    Washington DC delenda est.
  • (Score: 3, Informative) by Soylentbob on Monday June 19, @10:34AM (2 children)

    by Soylentbob (6519) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 19, @10:34AM (#527843)

    I find the imdb [imdb.com] or wiki [wikipedia.org] link usually more informative for actors. (Not sure if there is any recent scandal why IMDB would be a bad idea. It gives imo a better overview than the wikipedia-article to the actor. Although the summary already contains some nice wiki-links to the parts he played.)

    • (Score: 2) by deadstick on Monday June 19, @03:50PM (1 child)

      by deadstick (5110) on Monday June 19, @03:50PM (#527965)

      Not sure if there is any recent scandal why IMDB would be a bad idea

      IMDB is in a state of flux: recently shut down its popular user-comments forum amid vague explanations about reinventing itself.

      • (Score: 2) by fnj on Tuesday June 20, @03:27AM

        by fnj (1654) on Tuesday June 20, @03:27AM (#528318)

        IMDB's suicide made me sick. Fond memories of countless pleasant hours spent reading and participating in the forums.

        May the bastards responsible for destroying it all rot in hell. Especially the way they mercilessly and pointlessly destroyed all the traces. They could have left the whole vast irreplaceable resource there in read-only form.

  • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Monday June 19, @10:58AM (2 children)

    by Gaaark (41) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 19, @10:58AM (#527847) Homepage Journal

    Could be why he lost weight during B5.

    --
    --- I wish i had a cig for every sig i've ever had: i'd have cancer and wouldn't you feel bad for looking here. ---
  • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @01:10PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 19, @01:10PM (#527880)

    Sad day. His character was so iconic on B5. 63 is way too young. RIP buddy. We lost so many greats from that show already: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls056207990/ [imdb.com] (probably incomplete)

  • (Score: 2) by Weasley on Monday June 19, @02:59PM (1 child)

    by Weasley (6421) on Monday June 19, @02:59PM (#527938)

    This made me think of yet another similarity between B5 and DS9. Vir and Rom have extremely similar story arcs. Both are side characters that grow in importance. Both are virtuous people who come from a morally deficient people. Both become head of their respective governments.

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Ingar on Monday June 19, @04:21PM

      by Ingar (801) on Monday June 19, @04:21PM (#527981) Homepage

      Vir's story actually makes sense: through hard work and sheer luck he rises from ambassadorial assistent to emperor.
      Rom worked in the waste extration system. I never understood why he would be involved in critical endeavours like
      mining the entrance to the wormhole in the first place. He became Grand Nagus because his mom had an affair with
      his predecessor.

  • (Score: 2) by fnj on Tuesday June 20, @03:20AM

    by fnj (1654) on Tuesday June 20, @03:20AM (#528313)

    Memories of the finest drama/black comedy we shall ever see!

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