Little Miss Sunshine's Alan Arkin Dead at 89

Alan Arkin, the Academy Award winner whose career as an actor spanned over 70 years, which included roles in Little Miss Sunshine and The Kominsky Method, has died at the age of 89.

By Kisha Forde Jun 30, 2023 3:20 PMTags
Watch: Little Miss Sunshine's Alan Arkin Dead at 89

Hollywood is mourning the loss of a legendary actor.

Alan Arkin—the Academy Award winner who starred in dozens of films and television shows over his 70-year career including Little Miss Sunshine, Argo and The Kominsky Method—has died at the age of 89. Arkin's sons Adam, Matthew and Anthony confirmed their father's passing June 30.

"Our father was a uniquely talented force of nature, both as an artist and a man," his family shared in a statement to E! News. "A loving husband, father, grand and great grandfather, he was adored and will be deeply missed."

The Brooklyn native's career began in 1957, making his feature film acting debut with a small role in the musical Calypso Heat Wave. Arkin would go on appear in over 50 films already by 2006, when his role as the curmudgeonly grandfather in the hit comedy Little Miss Sunshine, for which he received an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

In 2021, his costar Abigail Breslin recalled how Arkin truly served as a guiding force on set.

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"It's so funny because I was remembering that when I did Little Miss Sunshine, I had to listen to headphones in the scene," Breslin, who played his onscreen granddaughter, said during an appearance on The Kelly Clarkson Show, "and I was actually listening to music because Alan Arkin—there's a scene where there's some language that I cannot repeat on television—but, Alan was very, very, like, not comfortable having me listen to it."

The actress—who was just 10 years old when she starred in the film—continued, "So he would always check to make sure that I had the headphones on and was actually listening to music. So, I was listening to the Breakaway album. I'm listening to, like, 'You Found Me.'"

Phillip Faraone/WireImage

In addition to appearing in over 80 movies, Arkin—who is also survived by wife Suzanne Newlander—landed guest roles in more than 20 television shows throughout his career and was a recipient of a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe Award, two SAG Awards and a Tony Award.

In 2020, Arkin opened up about taking on roles in the latter years of his life, most notably in Netflix's The Kominsky Method.

"I still have threads that connect me," he told The Guardian. "I'm like a horse going down the trail. Acting is so ingrained in my physiognomy and the channels of my brain that I find myself missing aspects of the business. But I don't need it any more. I should probably get over it."

As Arkin noted, he found comfort in enjoying the simpler experiences in life.

"Living in silence," he shared. "Looking at the garden. Having a relationship with trees and flowers and the sky. That's what's profound to me now."

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