Alan Arkin Dies: Oscar-Winning ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ Actor Was 89

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Oscar and Tony Award-winning actor Alan Arkin has died at the age of 89.

Arkin won an Oscar for his performance in 2006’s Little Miss Sunshine and starred in additional Oscar-winning films including Argo. On TV, he appeared in The Kominsky Method alongside Michael Douglas, for which he earned two Emmy, Golden Globe, and SAG Award nominations. His passing was confirmed by his sons, Adam, Matthew, and Anthony, on Friday, June 30, in a statement to People. A cause of death was not shared.

“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,” the statement reads.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, on March 26, 1934, Arkin’s career spanned 70 years and many art forms. In the 1950s, after attending and dropping out of several colleges, Arkin was part of a short-lived folk band called the Tarriers. The Tarriers’ version of “The Banana Boat Song” was a Top 5 single in 1957, and they received a writing credit when Sarah Vaughan recorded her own version of the Jamaican folk song. The song was also famously recorded by Harry Belafonte, who died on April 25, 2023.

Arkin quit the band to pursue acting, which led him to Chicago where he became one of the early members of the famed Second City in 1960. He made his Broadway debut the following year in From the Second City and then won a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor In a Play for Enter Laughing in 1963. The first Broadway play he directed was 1966’s Hail Scrawdyke! He was nominated for Best Direction of a Play for The Sunshine Boys in 1973.

His first TV credit came in 1964 when appearing in an episode of East Side West Side. It didn’t take long for Arkin to score his first Oscar nomination. He was nominated for Best Actor in 1967 for The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming, and then again in 1969 for The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter. He won Best Supporting Actor in 2007 for Little Miss Sunshine and then was nominated in the same category for Argo in 2013 (Argo won Best Picture that year).

Other TV and film credits include Catch-22 (1970), St. Elsewhere, American Playhouse, A Year In the Life, Edward Scissorhands (1990), Glengarry Glen Ross (1992), Chicago Hope, Gattaca (1997), 100 Centre Street, Will & Grace, Dumbo (2019), and more. After leaving The Kominsky Method ahead of its third and final season in 2020, Arkin lent his vocal talents to 2022’s Minions: The Rise of Gru, voicing the character Wild Knuckles. Per IMDb, Arkin’s apparent last project, The Smack, is in pre-production.

Arkin’s son, Adam Arkin (66), is also an actor/director like his father. He can be seen in Chicago Hope, 8 Simple Rules, and Sons of Anarchy.

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