'Uniquely talented' Alan Arkin, passes away at 89

The iconic Jewish actor was known for his cranky, New York demeanour


NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 30: Alan Arkin attends the "Going In Style" New York Premiere at SVA Theatre on March 30, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

The “uniquely talented” Oscar-winning actor Alan Arkin has died aged 89, his family has announced.

Arkin, a four-time Academy Award nominee whose career spanned more than six decades, appeared in dozens of films and TV shows including Little Miss Sunshine, Glengarry Glenross and BoJack Horseman.

The actor’s sons confirmed his death in a joint statement in which they paid tribute to their “adored” father, who they described as a “force of nature”.

The statement, shared with the US entertainment magazine People, read: “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.”

Arkin was born in New York to Jewish immigrant parents and was raised in a secular family and later moved to LA. Although he was not religious, many of the characters he played shared his Jewish heritage.

It was his turn as the foul-mouthed, drug-using grandfather Edwin Hoover in the darkly comic 2006 hit Little Miss Sunshine that earned him an Oscar, for best-supporting actor, at the age of 72.

He was shortlisted again for the same award in 2013 for his performance in Ben Affleck’s best picture winner Argo.

His Oscars win came decades after his earlier nominations, for The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming in 1967 and The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter in 1969.

Commenting on Arkin’s death US comedian Patton Oswalt, said: “Did anyone have the range Alan Arkin had? Hilarious, sinister, insane, tragic. [There was] no mood he couldn’t live in.”

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