Flounder and VIr Actor Stephen Furst Dies

Actor Stephen Furst died June 16 in his Moorpark, California home at the age of 63 as a result of complications related to diabetes. Furst was also the recipient of a kidney transplant.

Stephen_Furst,_July,_2014By Lois Benton – Stephen Furst, July, 2014, Moorpark, CA, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=41194803

Furst is best known for his role as Flounder in the hit movie “Animal House” but he will forever be known to “Babylon 5” and sci-fi fans as the naive but lovable Vir Cotto, the assistant to the Centauri Ambassador Londo Molari and at the end of the series the Centauri Emperor. Over the course of 110 episodes in the five year run of the show, Furst’s character Vir Cotto often found himself in the midst of some scheme conjured up by Londo; but once in a while Vir turned the table – like when he created the false Abrahamil Lincolni to save Narns who were destined to die.

B5_virBy Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=857388

Furst is the sixth member of the “Babylon 5” cast to pass on. Richard Biggs – Dr. Stephen Franklin, Andreas Katsulas – Narn Ambassador G’Kar, Jerry Doyle – Security Chief Michael Garabaldi, Jeff Conway – Security Chief Zach Allen, and Michael O’Hara – Commander Jeffrey Sinclair.

ctor StephenAppearing in almost 90 productions, Furst made his screen debut in 1975 as a road construction worker in an episode of the television series “Movin’ On”. His other roles include a delivery boy in “Family”, 13 episodes of “Delta House”, “ChiPs”, “Newhart”, Dr. Elliot Axelrod in 97 episodes of “St. Elsewhere”, Dr. Kozby in an episode of “MacGyver”, “Murder, She Wrote”, Melrose Place”, “Chicago Hope”, Booster and Blister in 61 episodes of “Buzz Lightyear of Star Command”, and his final role in 2006 in “Basilisk: The Serpent King”.

Furst also turned his hand to producing and directing including three episodes of “Babylon 5”, “Crusade”, “Game Day”, and “River Runs Red” which is currently in post production.

As himself, Furst appeared in a couple of dozen productions including game shows, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and documentaries.

He was born Stephen Nelson Feurerstein on May 8, 1954 in Norfolk, Virginia where he took an interest in acting very early. In high school he played the role of the Cowardly Lion in “The Wizard of Oz”. Furst met his wife while studying drama at Virginia Commonwealth University.

A diabetic since the age of 17, Furst became an advocate for the disease and spokesman for the American Diabetes Foundation.

Furst is survived by his wife of over 40 years Lorraine, sons Nathan and Griff, sister Suzanne, and grandchildren.

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