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Legendary actor Alan Arkin has died aged 89

Jess Hardiman

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| Last updated 

Legendary actor Alan Arkin has died aged 89

Featured Image Credit: ZUMA Press, Inc./James Lewis/Alamy

Little Miss Sunshine star Alan Arkin has died, aged 89, his family have confirmed.

His death was confirmed by sons Adam, Matthew and Anthony, who said in a join statement on their family's behalf to People: "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."

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The Academy Award and Tony Award-winning actor enjoyed a successful career on stage and screen that spanned eight decades, having made his feature film debut in musical Calypso Heat Wave back in 1957.

Since then, he has starred in the likes of Edward Scissorhands, Glengarry Glen Ross, Grosse Point Blank, Little Miss Sunshine and Argo.

Alan Arkin has died, aged 89. Credit: James Lewis/Alamy
Alan Arkin has died, aged 89. Credit: James Lewis/Alamy

More recently, he co-starred in the Netflix series The Kominsky Method alongside Michael Douglas - a role that earned him Emmy nominations in 2019 and 2020, along with Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nominations in 2020 and 2021.

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In 2020, Arkin released a book called Out of My Mind, which detailed his spiritual journey and was subheaded 'Not Quite a Memoir'.

Speaking to The Guardian at the time, he insisted his acting skill was actually born out of weakness, saying he was a shy, anxious child and that performing gave him strength.

“I had this sense that I didn’t exist," Arkin said.

"My parents were wonderful people in many ways, but they weren’t affectionate. I don’t remember ever being touched by either one. I felt ignored to the point where I didn’t even exist - so acting was my lifeline to not feeling like I was being obliterated. For many years, the only place I felt alive was on stage.”

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And it clearly worked, too, as over time Arkin picked up an Academy Award, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, a British Academy Film Award, a Golden Globe Award, and a Tony Award for his efforts.

Arkin in 2006 film Little Miss Sunshine, a role that won him an Oscar. Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures
Arkin in 2006 film Little Miss Sunshine, a role that won him an Oscar. Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Collecting his Best Supporting Actor Oscar in 2006 for Little Miss Sunshine, he whipped out a short handwritten acceptance speech, admitting he would be 'incoherent' if he hadn't prepared.

"More than anything I am 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. Acting for me has always been and always will be a team sport," Arkin said.

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"I cannot work at all unless I feel a spirit of unity around me. So my main sense of gratitude goes to the entire cast and crew and production team of Little Miss Sunshine for creating the same sense of joy and trust and community that the film speaks about."

He also thanked wife Suzanne Newlander and sons Adam, Matthew and Tony for their 'endless support', along with the 'great teachers' he'd had throughout his life, 'both in and out of the profession'.

Topics: Celebrity, Film and TV

Jess Hardiman
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