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Alan Arkin, Oscar-winning star of ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ and ‘Argo,’ dead at 89


Alan Arkin, Oscar-winning star of ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ and ‘Argo,’ dead at 89

Alan Arkin, the Oscar- and Tony-winning veteran actor of stage and screen, has died at 89.

Arkin, known for his distinct dry wit, had a decades-spanning career of acclaimed work that included an Academy Award for Little Miss Sunshine.

“Our father was a uniquely talented force of nature, both as an artist and a man,” his sons Adam, Matthew and Anthony said in a joint statement to People. “A loving husband, father, grand and great grandfather, he was adored and will be deeply missed.”

Alan Arkin – early career
Born March 26, 1934 in New York City, Arkin began his acting career as a member of the Second City comedy troupe in the 1960s, making his Broadway debut in From the Second City in 1961. He won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play for Enter Laughing in 1963.

He received his first Academy Award nomination for his breakout role in 1966 comedy The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming, launching a successful and decades-spanning film career.

Arkin received his second Oscar nomination for playing a deaf mute in The Heart is a Lonely Hunter.

Some of his other notable films include Wait Until Dark opposite Audrey Hepburn, Mike Nichols’ Catch-22, Edward Scissorhands, Gattaca and Glengarry Glen Ross.

Little Miss Sunshine and later career
Arkin had a late-career breakout role in the independent hit Little Miss Sunshine. As the foul-mouth, drug-snorting but ultimately loving grandfather of the beauty contestant main character, Arkin’s performance stood out in the ensemble cast. He received many award nominations and won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

“More than anything, I’m deeply moved by the open-hearted appreciation our small film has received, which in these fragmented times speaks so openly of the possibility of innocence, growth, and connection,” Arkin said in his acceptance speech.

A few years later he was back at the Oscars, receiving another Best Supporting Actor nomination for Argo, the Ben Affleck-directed film which won Best Picture. He played the Hollywood agent who assists in a secret plot to rescue American diplomats during the Iran hostage crisis.

From 2018 to 2019, he starred on the Netflix series The Kominsky Method, earning back-to-back nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series.

Arkin is survived by his wife Suzanne Newlander, to whom he was married since 1996, and his three sons. Arkin died at his home in Carlsbad, California.

Rest in peace to the incredible Alan Arkin, a one-of-a-kind star who gave us so many memorable performances over the decades.

Please share this story in memory of Alan Arkin 💔❤️

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