Oscar-winning actor Alan Arkin dies at 89

Alan Arkin
Photo credit Mike Coppola/Getty Images
By , Audacy

Award-winning actor Alan Arkin has died at age 89, his sons Adam, Matthew and Anthony confirmed.

“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,” they said in a statement to People.

According to Turner Classic Movies, Arkin was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. to two teachers. His family later moved to Los Angeles and his parents lost their jobs during the Red Scare. He was a 1955 graduate of Bennington College in Vermont.

Arkin caught his first break as a member of The Second City theater troupe in Chicago after struggling as an actor in the 1960s.

“Second City saved my life. It literally saved my life. I have a feeling it’s true for a lot of other people, too,” said Arkin.

From there, he started working in film.

“He made a huge impression with an Oscar-nominated performance in Norman Jewison's raucous Cold War comedy, ‘The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming’ (1966), a film that put Arkin on the map for good,” and earned him an Oscar nomination, said TCM.

During his decades-spanning career, Arkin has won numerous awards, including best supporting actor Oscar in 2007 for his role in “Little Miss Sunshine”.

“In addition to his achievements in film, Arkin made his mark as a singer-songwriter with his popular-song compositions,” said Bennington. These include “Banana Boat Song,” and others. He also authored several books.

Arkin’s acting career ran well into his 80s. According to People Magazine he most recently starred in in “The Kominsky Method” for Netflix alongside Michael Douglas. He earned Emmy nominations in 2019 and 2020, and Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nominations in 2020 and 2021.

“His son, Adam Arkin, 66, is also a well-known actor and director who has starred on TV,” said People.

After his death was announced, tributes to Arkin began pouring in on social media.

“When I was a young actor people wanted to know if I wanted to be a serious actor or a funny one. I’d answer ‘Which kind is Alan Arkin?’ and that shut them up,” said actor Michael McKean.

“Did ANYONE have the range Alan Arkin had? Hilarious, sinister, insane, tragic. No mood he couldn’t live in. RIP,” said comedian and actor Patton Oswalt.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Mike Coppola/Getty Images