The world of cinema has lost one of its most versatile and talented stars. Alan Arkin, who won an Academy Award for his role as the grumpy grandfather in ‘Little Miss Sunshine,’ passed away peacefully at his home in Los Angeles on July 1, 2023. He was 89 years old.
Arkin had a long and illustrious career that spanned six decades and more than 100 films and television shows. He was known for his comedic timing, his dramatic range, and his ability to transform into any character he played. He was also a director, a writer, a singer, and a teacher.
Some of his most memorable roles include the Soviet submarine captain in ‘The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming,’ the blind bank robber in ‘Wait Until Dark,’ the CIA agent in ‘Argo,’ and the retired spy in ‘The Kominsky Method.’
Arkin was born in Brooklyn, New York, on March 26, 1934, to Jewish parents who were immigrants from Ukraine and Germany. He started his career as a folk singer and a member of the improv group The Second City. He made his Broadway debut in 1963 with the musical ‘From the Second City,’ for which he won a Tony Award.
He made his film debut in 1966 with ‘The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming,’ for which he received his first Oscar nomination. He received two more nominations for ‘The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter’ (1968) and ‘Argo’ (2012), before winning for ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ (2006).
Arkin was married three times and had four children, including actors Adam Arkin and Anthony Arkin. He is survived by his wife Suzanne Newlander Arkin, whom he married in 1996, and his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
Arkin was widely respected and admired by his peers and fans alike. He was described as a generous, humble, and kind person who always had a smile and a joke to share. He will be dearly missed by all who knew him and loved him.
Rest in peace, Alan Arkin. Thank you for making us laugh, cry, and think with your amazing performances. You were truly a legend.
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