Little Miss Sunshine actor Alan Arkin dies aged 89

Celebrated actor also known for roles in Argo and The Heart is a Lonely Hunter

Alan Arkin poses during an awards ceremony in Las Vegas, Nevada, in 2015. Reuters
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Oscar-winning actor Alan Arkin, best known for his role as Edwin Hoover in Little Miss Sunshine, has died at age 89, his family said.

“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's sons Adam, Matthew and Anthony wrote in a joint statement.

Arkin died on Thursday at his home in Carlsbad, California, Variety reported.

Arkin was born to Russian-German Jewish immigrant parents in Brooklyn, New York, in 1934. He and his parents moved to Los Angeles when he was 11 years old.

He began his career as a member of the improvisational comedy troupe Second City in the 1960s, but made his breakthrough in 1963 when he won a Tony Award for his role in the Broadway play Enter Laughing.

He also earned an Oscar nomination in his first movie role in the 1966 comedy The Russians Are Coming! The Russians Are Coming!

But he is perhaps best known for his role in Little Miss Sunshine, a role for which he was initially turned down because he was considered too healthy.

“It's the best rejection I ever got in my life – they thought I was too virile,” Arkin said in a 2007 interview.

Arkin received plaudits for other roles in films and television series including The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Argo and The Kominsky Method.

He is survived by his wife, three sons, four grandchildren and a great-grandson.

Updated: June 30, 2023, 6:17 PM