Alan Arkin died last night at the age of 89. The long-time actor, whose career spanned seven decades, passed away at his home in Carlsbad, California on June 29, his family announced this morning. 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,” a statement released by his three sons — Adam, Matthew and Anthony — said.
With a career spanning everything from Broadway to Netflix, it’s hard to say where someone would know the insanely talented actor from. Maybe you’re in with him was his Oscar-winning turn in indie comedy Little Miss Sunshine, or maybe you know him as the psychotic stalker who terrorized Audrey Hepburn in the classic Wait Until Dark, or perhaps you’re older and saw him in his Tony Award-winning turn in Enter Laughing, or his time with legendary comedy troupe Second City, or discovered him during your goth period when you watched Edward Scissorhands too many times, or just saw him getting yelled at by Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross. Maybe you’re like me and can only picture him with a mustache strapping a rocket onto Billy Campbell in The Rocketeer. That’s just a short list of massive, well-known films and roles that Arkin played.
The point is that Arkin is one of the rare actors who succeeded throughout his career and, seemingly, only got better as the years went on. Most recently he was nominated twice for Primetime Emmy Awards for his role on Netflix’s The Kominsky Method. Arkin, of course, was more than just his roles, however. He was married three times, most recently to Suzanne Newlander Arkin, who survives him along with his sons and previous two wives Jeremy Yaffe and Barbara Dana. His long career also saw him in a folk band back in the ’50s where he scored a hit song with “The Banana Boat Song,” and he was also involved with spiritualism and followed John Battista, though that was before the guru was convicted of sexual abuse.
If you’d like my suggestion for how to remember the man, then stream / rent / buy 1970s Catch 22 and see Alan Arkin in the role he may be best remembered for.