Alan Arkin Death: The ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ and ‘Argo’ actor has died at the age of 89

Hollywood star Alan Arkin, who won an Oscar in 2006 for his role as a cantankerous grandpa in the comedy Little Miss SunshineHe died at the age of 89.

The news was announced by his sons Adam, Matthew and Anthony, who issued a joint statement on behalf of the family.

said People: “Our father was a uniquely talented force of nature, both as an artist and as a person. As a loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, he was adored and will be greatly missed.”

He died Friday (June 30) at his home in Carlsbad, California.

Arkin’s glittering career began in 1957 when Norman Jewison received his first notable film appearance in the 1966 Best Picture nomination The Russians are coming, the Russians are coming.

The film earned him his first of two Academy Award nominations for Best Actor, with the second following in 1969 The heart is a lonely hunter.

Of Arkin, director Jewison said, “Alan never had a recognizable screen persona because he just disappears into his characters. His accents are impeccable and he is even able to change his appearance. He was always underestimated, partly because he never served his own success.”

Arkin had to wait almost 40 years for his next nomination for best supporting actor for the comedy Little Miss Sunshine (2006). Arkin won the trophy, as well as a BAFTA, and earned a fourth Oscar nomination in 2013 for Ben Affleck’s film argon.

In the 1960s, Brooklyn-born Arkin, who began acting classes at the age of 10, was a member of the comedy troupe Second City and made his Broadway debut in a production of From the second city. He also received a Tony nomination for his role as David Kolowitz Joseph Steinis a comedy film from 1963 Enter laughingand tormented Audrey Hepburn in the psychological thriller Wait until it gets dark (1967). He once said of his co-star, “She was an exquisite woman, so it was hard to be mean to her.” In 1968, he took on the role of Inspector Clouseau in the third titled Pink Panther film Inspector Clouseauwhen Peter Sellers quit the role.

Alan Arkin in The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming

(United Artists/Kobal/Shutterstock)

Among his high-profile films in the 1970s was an adaptation by Joseph Hellers Catch-22 (1970), in which he played Captain John Yossarian, and comedy The in-laws (1979), in which he starred alongside Peter Falk. In 2012, Arkin admitted that the financial disappointment of Catch-22 had a detrimental effect on his career, explain: “[It] was a huge failure that rubbed off on everyone involved. I’ve had a series of lean years where I’ve had to do things that I’ve often not been particularly passionate about.”

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This plateau was at least eased by Arkin’s spiritual awakening, as his early years in Hollywood coincided with his exposure to Eastern philosophy. “Some wondrous things happened as a direct result of meditation,” he said The guard in 2020. “It saved my life. I couldn’t throw it away. If I had thrown it away, the only possible alternative would have been suicide.”

In 1987, Arkin received an Emmy nomination for his role in the TV movie Escape from Sobibor, which told the story of a mass escape from a Nazi concentration camp. This led to a resurgence in his career and by the 1990s he had become one of Hollywood’s most in-demand actors for the roles of authority figures and strict but compassionate fathers. At Tim Burton’s Edward with the scissor hands (1990) he played the father of Winona Ryder’s Kim Boggs, who falls in love with Johnny Depp’s eponymous humanoid. Other credits from this period included cult Disney films The rocket launcher (1991) and the film adaptation of the play by David Mamet Glengarry Glenn Ross (1992) starring Jack Lemmon, Al Pacino and Kevin Spacey. In 1997 he appeared in a comedy opposite John Cusack and Minnie Driver Large point blankand Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke in the sci-fi drama Gattaca. In 1998 he played Natasha Lyonne’s father in the indie coming-of-age comedy Beverly Hills slums.

After winning his Oscar for Little Miss Sunshine In 2007, a moment in which he became the sixth-oldest honoree for the Best Supporting Actor award, Arkin said, “More than anything, I am deeply moved by the open appreciation our little film has received, made in these fragmented times speaks so openly.” of the possibility of innocence, growth and connection.”

Alan Arkin won his Oscar for Little Miss Sunshine in 2007.


In the film, he played Greg Kinnears Richard’s foul-mouthed father, who takes his dysfunctional family on a road trip so his daughter (Abigail Breslin) can enter a children’s beauty pageant.

Shortly thereafter, his role as Hollywood agent Lester Siegel won in Affleck’s Best Picture. argonArkin has had more success on television. He portrayed JD Salinger in Netflix’s acclaimed adult animation BoJack Horsemanand received two Emmy nominations for his role in a comedy series The Kominsky method.

His voice will be known to a younger generation through the role of Wild Knuckles in the spin-off Despicable Me Minions: The Rise of Gru (2022). The film brought them back together Little Miss Sunshineis Steve Carell, with whom he also worked in 2008 get smart and 2013 The incredible Burt Wonderstone. “I love him,” Carell said in 2022. “I have several messages that I save on my phone and I would say five of them are from him. Just as a souvenir because they’re so funny. He’s so funny. He is one of my favorite people and I would work with him anytime. He’s one of my idols.”

Alan Arkin in The Kominsky Method


During his life, Arkin, who also wrote and performed as part of a folk group, married three times: Jeremy Yaffe (1955–1961), with whom he had sons Adam and Matthew; Barbara Dana (1964–1994), with whom he had son Anthony; and most recently psychotherapist Suzanne Newlander, whom he married in 1996.

In 2007, Arkin spoke about his career in an interview with Associated Press: “I used to think that my stuff was very varied. But I realized that most of the characters I played for the first 20 years were misfits, strangers to them, aliens in one way or another.”

He continued, “As I became more and more comfortable, that started to change. I received one of the nicest compliments I have ever received from anyone a few days ago. They said they thought my characters were often the heart, the moral center of a film. I didn’t particularly understand it, but I liked it; it made me happy.”

Emma Bowman

Emma Bowman is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Emma Bowman joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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