Whether he actually went through life fat drunk and stupid, I don't know
June 18, 2017 2:43 PM   Subscribe

 
.

I think it probably depends on your generation, but between a certain age range he's probably best known for Babylon 5.

(obligatory)
posted by selfnoise at 2:48 PM on June 18 [47 favorites]


He will always be Vir - the moon-faced assassin of joy - to me.

.
posted by nubs at 2:55 PM on June 18 [33 favorites]


.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:56 PM on June 18


.
posted by Pendragon at 3:04 PM on June 18




.
posted by zinc saucier at 3:07 PM on June 18


Ugh, this is saddening. I was just rewatching B5 and as always, Vir is one of the highlights. Furst did wonders with the role. Every year the final toast of the series gets more and more poignant...
posted by informavore at 3:16 PM on June 18 [10 favorites]


He was on St. Elsewhere, too!

.
posted by Chrysostom at 3:19 PM on June 18 [3 favorites]


.
posted by Splunge at 3:19 PM on June 18


.
posted by mikelieman at 3:21 PM on June 18


.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:23 PM on June 18


Well, at least now he is finally off double secret probation. (Also, showing all due B5 respect (even if I skewed more Lennier for my diplomatic sidekicks)).

.
posted by Samizdata at 3:30 PM on June 18 [3 favorites]


I'm really trying to cheer myself up.

.
posted by 4ster at 3:31 PM on June 18 [3 favorites]


.
posted by Faintdreams at 3:33 PM on June 18


Abrahamo Lincolni

.
posted by ckape at 3:36 PM on June 18 [14 favorites]


Whether he actually went through life fat drunk and stupid, I don't know.

But he DID throw-up on Dean Wormer ... So there's at least that.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 3:37 PM on June 18 [6 favorites]


.
posted by Silverstone at 3:41 PM on June 18


He's a legacy.

.
posted by Melismata at 3:41 PM on June 18 [7 favorites]


.
posted by metaquarry at 3:42 PM on June 18


.
posted by Token Meme at 3:55 PM on June 18


.
posted by mordax at 4:00 PM on June 18


To paraphrase Bullwinkle, "fan mail FOR a Flounder..."

Few actors get more than one "iconic" role, and I'd include Dr. Elliot Axelrod on St. Elsewhere as a third for Stephen Furst. When the show debuted, one could look at the cast... Ed Begley Jr., William Daniels, Stephen Furst, Howie Mandel???... and think it was supposed to be a comedy. And it had its moments of much-needed comic relief. But it fully proved that Stephen could be believable as a doctor (maybe not Howie).

It must also be noted that he was one of only 3 members of the Animal House cast to return to his role in the misbegotten TV version, "Delta House" (Bruce 'D-Day' McGill and John 'The Dean' Vernon were the others), and he was the voice of would-be sidekick "Fan Boy" on Freakazoid.

P.S.: While the headlines said "63", all the obits put his date of birth at "May 22, 1955", which would make him 62.

. and a very respectful wave good-bye 👋
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:10 PM on June 18 [7 favorites]


Until now, I'd not associated "Flounder" with "Vir," who was one of my favorite B5 characters. A bit of a Woody-Allen-in-Space, Vir, I hoped, would, at some point, say, "Londo, I don't mean to be didactic or facetious..."

aav.

.
posted by the sobsister at 4:34 PM on June 18


Tonight's viewing is "Midnight Madness", a Disney movie from the era when they still made weird-ass non-property-branded movies like "The Black Hole" and which features not only Furst, but also Michael J. Fox, Paul Reubens and a character named Barf. I understand some sort of scavenger hunt is involved.

May you drive us all to the Food King one day, Flounder.

.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 4:47 PM on June 18 [13 favorites]


.
posted by Cash4Lead at 4:48 PM on June 18


.
posted by Ickster at 4:48 PM on June 18


If you want to watch Vir Cotto again, all the B5 episodes are online.
posted by adamg at 5:07 PM on June 18 [6 favorites]


.
posted by Ranucci at 5:07 PM on June 18


He's a St Elsewhere guy to me.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 5:31 PM on June 18 [1 favorite]


Furst got such range as Vir. From the comic relief in "He has embraced his inner self!" to the solemnity of learning "Nothing I can see will stop either of you from becoming Centauri Emperor" in a couple of seasons.

I clearly have fallen down on remembering St Elsewhere, most of what I remember is Craig Daniels doing surgery and the bonkers last episode.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 5:32 PM on June 18 [1 favorite]


I grew up in Harrisburg, and saw Animal House there.
The audience cheered for the legacy line.

.
posted by MtDewd at 5:43 PM on June 18 [3 favorites]



posted by Halloween Jack at 5:45 PM on June 18


He did great things with some solid secondary roles. Fuck diabetes.
posted by rmd1023 at 5:52 PM on June 18 [1 favorite]


Interestingly enough, Furst played Chuck Norris' sidekick in a film called Silent Rage. Both his performance and character were uncharacteristic of the roles fat actors usually got. Also, the film was Sci-Fi, which was a departure for Norris. Actually, Furst is great in this, and I still remember his character 35 years later. Pure 80s cheeze. Note, Wiki has spoilers.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silent_Rage
posted by Beholder at 5:53 PM on June 18


I was living in Rural PA at the time of Animal House's release and we took a 2 hour road trip to Wilkes Barre to see it.
I will also remember him as Vir, and though I used to watch St. Elsewhere religiously, I've somehow managed to forget that he was on. Now I'll have to re-watch. ALL of those. I am saddened by his passing.

.
posted by evilDoug at 5:58 PM on June 18


.
posted by achrise at 6:03 PM on June 18


. Vir.
posted by ceejaytee at 6:08 PM on June 18


Sic transit Vir.

.
posted by Faint of Butt at 6:08 PM on June 18 [9 favorites]


Silent Rage

"Science created him. Now Chuck Norris must destroy him." is probably one of the better taglines of all time.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 6:17 PM on June 18 [5 favorites]


Babylon 5 refs are rife, but it's hard to overstate it's influence. A lot of what became The Golden age of television drama got it's start here. Fantastic, flawed characters that grew and changed with each episode, and spot on casting. Furst as Vir is one of the finest examples, and an early example of the "Crouching Coward, Hidden Bad-Ass" trope that is so fun when done so well.

Good luck, and try not to give away the Homeworld.

.
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:30 PM on June 18 [13 favorites]


Now, now he is ready to be the ambassador for the Centauri...

As Slap*Happy said, Babylon 5 really was a trailblazer for so much modern drama on TV, but it has also had a hell of a lot of casualties of it's cast since the show finished - Andreas Katsulas, Richard Biggs, Jerry Doyle, Michael O'Hare and Jeff Conaway all played Primary or Secondary roles in the show, and all died <65 years old.
posted by Nice Guy Mike at 6:57 PM on June 18 [1 favorite]


.
posted by cjelli at 7:01 PM on June 18


RobotVoodooPower: "Tonight's viewing is "Midnight Madness", a Disney movie from the era when they still made weird-ass non-property-branded movies like "The Black Hole" and which features not only Furst, but also Michael J. Fox, Paul Reubens and a character named Barf. I understand some sort of scavenger hunt is involved.."

And Eddie Deezen! And John Voldstad!
posted by Chrysostom at 7:08 PM on June 18 [1 favorite]


.
posted by darchildre at 7:32 PM on June 18


Face it, Kent. You threw up on Dean Wormer.
posted by escabeche at 7:37 PM on June 18 [2 favorites]


.
posted by Coaticass at 7:50 PM on June 18


I hope his last thoughts were, "Oh Boy! That was great!"
posted by Chitownfats at 8:07 PM on June 18 [9 favorites]


.
posted by pjmoy at 8:20 PM on June 18


This interview from 14 years ago has just been reposted -sourced from the obituary in The Verge (thank you, Andrew Liptak).
posted by Coaticass at 8:30 PM on June 18 [2 favorites]


.

If it weren't confirmed that it was complications from diabetes, I'd swear that the old hot tub factory turned soundstage at 8615 Tamarack Ave., Sun Valley, CA 91352 had claimed another. I'm still not convinced it didn't.
posted by radwolf76 at 9:22 PM on June 18 [1 favorite]


.
posted by Mental Wimp at 9:22 PM on June 18


Jeez. Yeah, he was always reliably great at doing that thing that only he did. There was never, nor will there ever be, a "Stephen Furst type." There was just him.

.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 9:49 PM on June 18


.
posted by R343L at 9:55 PM on June 18


Definitely best known to this fortysomething as Vir. I don't think I've ever actually seen Animal House.

.
posted by egypturnash at 11:34 PM on June 18 [2 favorites]


I am 52 years old and he will never be anything other than Flounder to me, because he took a smallish role and ran with it all the way to character actor immortality.

.
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 12:09 AM on June 19 [8 favorites]


.
posted by edd at 12:26 AM on June 19


.
posted by kinnakeet at 12:29 AM on June 19


Have you guys seen "Up the Creek"? It's basically "Animal House ... With Rafts!". Despite its many faults I love it unconditionally (I must have seen it 25-30 times) and Stephen Furst is one of the reasons why. I don't know if Stephen was proud of his role in it, but I'll watch it in his honor tonight. Rest in peace.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 1:56 AM on June 19 [4 favorites]


I had no idea he was on Babylon 5, he'll always be Flounder to me.
posted by octothorpe at 4:08 AM on June 19


.
posted by filtergik at 5:00 AM on June 19


From the linked interview,
So I got this audition for something called Babylon 5 and I went in to the audition, and there’s like ten guys in the room, and they all have their hair up like in a fan. I’m thinking, “What the hell is going on?” And so I walked into the room and I said, “You know, I’m really sorry, I didn’t know about the hair thing, and of course I would have done it …” Making excuses. They looked at each other and said, “Oh my god, it’s Vir.” So I only had to read like one scene, and they said, “We want you to do our show.”
.
posted by Slothrup at 5:16 AM on June 19 [13 favorites]


I am of a certain age, and I always knew him as Flounder. "You fucked up. You trusted us."

.
posted by tallmiddleagedgeek at 6:03 AM on June 19 [1 favorite]


Too soon.

.
posted by blurker at 6:53 AM on June 19


My advice to you is to start drinking heavily.
posted by Capt. Renault at 6:56 AM on June 19 [3 favorites]


.
posted by SonInLawOfSam at 7:13 AM on June 19


May he forever rush Delta house at the Great Allnighter in the sky.
.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 7:22 AM on June 19


.
posted by camyram at 7:35 AM on June 19


BTW "Midnight Madness" is one of the worst movies of all time but you must see it
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 8:35 AM on June 19 [2 favorites]


Farewell Mr. Furst--the subtlety you brought to Vir was one of my favorites elements of B5.

In celebration of his life and achievements, I like to imagine singing this song in Londo's Court Centauri: In heaven there is no beer! That's why we drink it here!
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 8:37 AM on June 19 [1 favorite]


.
posted by brennen at 9:13 AM on June 19


I hope he's in a place where no one dances with his date.

.
posted by tommasz at 9:55 AM on June 19 [1 favorite]


B5.


.
posted by doctornemo at 10:11 AM on June 19


BTW "Midnight Madness" is one of the worst movies of all time but you must see it

When Midnight Madness starts to get to you, it doesn't matter what you say. Doesn't matter what you do.

(Jeez, that fucking song has been stuck in my head for 30 years!!)
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:04 PM on June 19 [1 favorite]


.
posted by Nat "King" Cole Porter Wagoner at 3:07 PM on June 19


.

Vir was one of the best things about Bab 5, and he was the easiest character to like . I'm certain a big part of that came from just how likeable Stephen Furst just seemed to be.
posted by cirhosis at 10:26 PM on June 19 [3 favorites]


.
posted by ChutneyFerret at 7:12 AM on June 20


○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○....... (10,000 marbles)
posted by e1c at 11:39 AM on June 20 [2 favorites]


He also delivered the biggest laughs in his nearly mute role as Albert in "The Dream Team." I highly recommend this movie, a very loose parody of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. It has a tremendous chamber cast of Michael Keaton, Christopher Lloyd, Peter Boyle, and Furst, all playing mental patients. I'll give you one detail that gives nothing away, Furst plays a man so plagued by anxiety that he rarely speaks, and only in direct quotation of the New York Yankees' broadcasts.
posted by abcanthur at 3:00 PM on June 20 [1 favorite]


.
posted by rhiannonstone at 9:40 PM on June 20


Yes Kent, those guys were playing cards.

.
posted by rhizome at 11:18 PM on June 21


.
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:42 AM on June 22


« Older A Sociology of the Smartphone   |   The most powerful woman, and one of the most... Newer »


You are not currently logged in. Log in or create a new account to post comments.