Stephen Fuerstein, a.k.a Stephen Furst, died facing complications with diabetes at home in Moorpark, California. He was born in Virginia on May 8, 1955. His struggle is a journey from being a pizza delivery driver to being an actor/director. His life sadly ended at the age of 63.
Furst was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at the young age of 17. Both of his parents also died from diabetes. While working for Babylon 5 his kidney failed and a fan donated his kidney to save him.
He eventually became one a spokesperson for American Diabetes Association.
He had uncontrolled diabetes. In 1996, due to having his left foot amputated from diabetic complications, he went from over 260 pounds down to 175 pounds.
In 1976 he married Lorraine Furst and they had two sons. He earned a degree in Theater Arts from Virginia Commonwealth University. Both of his sons work in the Entertainment industry. The elder son, Nathan Furst, is a film composer. Furst's younger son, Griff Furst, is an actor, director, and composer.
Actor Stephen Furst, 63, died on Friday from complications from diabetes, according to his sons’ announcement on Facebook.
Furst is best known for his breakout role as Flounder in the iconic film “National Lampoon’s Animal House.” His character’s real name, Kent Dorfman, was quickly forgotten in favor the nickname given to him by his fraternity brothers. Flounder begins the movie as a “real zero” and gets involved in the hilarious frat hijinks that propel the film.
It’s those funny moments that Furst’s sons, Nathan and Griffith, ask friends and fans to hold on to.
“To truly honor him, do not cry for the loss of Stephen Furst,” the announcement reads. “But rather, enjoy memories of all the times he made you snicker, laugh, or even snort to your own embarrassment. He intensely believed that laugher is the best therapy, and he would want us to practice that now.”
The family released a statement on social media asking Furst's fans to not cry for his demise but to celebrate his movies. They want the audience to laugh, enjoy and cherish those memories. He made movies to make people laugh and he was good at it. His fans loves him and will miss him a lot.
He used to deliver pizza in Hollywood and included his picture and a resume in the pizza boxes. Matty Simons noticed him first through that picture and cast him in National Lampoon's Animal House. He has worked in many projects including Animal House (1978), Babylon 5 (1994) and St. Elsewhere (1982).
As a celebrity spokesperson for the American Heart Association, Furst said, "I thought I was more powerful than the disease of diabetes, but in reality, I was letting it take control of me. Now, I've decided to take control of my life."