If you are of a certain generation, this news will sadden you and make you feel a little older. Stephen Furst has died from complications of diabetes at 63. He was a prolific actor and filmmaker with many roles to his credit, including a six-year run as Dr. Axelrod on “St. Elsewhere.” But he will always be best remembered for his early breakthrough role as Kent “Flounder” Dorfman, the hapless, chubby freshman pledging the Delta fraternity in “National Lampoon’s Animal House.” That movie inspired a whole generation of young comedians and helped usher in a wave of movie comedies that imitated and expanded on the raunchy, gross-out jokes, but usually missed the heart, warmth and nostalgia underneath.
In an announcement of his passing on his Facebook page, Furst’s sons Nathan and Griffith offered what might be the perfect eulogy for any comic actor:
"To truly honor him, do not cry for the loss of Stephen Furst. But rather, enjoy memories of all the times he made you snicker, laugh, or even snort to your own embarrassment. He intensely believed that laughter is the best therapy, and he would want us to practice that now. If you knew him personally, remember his gift for lighting up a room. And no matter who you are, when you think of Steve, instead of being sad, celebrate his life by watching one of his movies or use one of his bits to make someone else laugh - really, really hard."