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Stephen Furst

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Also Known As: Steven Feuerstein Died:
Born: May 8, 1955 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Norfolk, Virginia, USA Profession: actor, director, pizza delivery, vending machine filler

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

This chunky and endearing actor has made the transition from playing buffoonish characters in teen fare to playing doctors and other professionals of dubious abilities but whose bumbly charm makes malpractice palatable. Stephen Furst is best recalled as Kent 'Flounder' Dorfman in "National Lampoon's Animal House" (1978) and as Dr. Elliot Axelrod, fighting obesity and questions of his competence, on the NBC series "St. Elsewhere" from 1983-1988. Born in Norfolk, VA, Furst was orphaned at age 16 and he lived with an aunt before attending college. By this time, he had found two vices to fill the emptiness--food and theater, ballooning to over 300 lbs., but also becoming (in his words) "a drama nerd". His size no doubt helped him win the role of Pseudelous in "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" at the Cavalier Theatre in his native Norfolk in 1972. Four years later, he married his college sweetheart and headed for Hollywood, passing time delivering pizzas. (Oddly, he would play a delivery man in his first TV appearance on an episode of the ABC series "Family" in 1979). Furst had his first big break when he won the role of the clownish Kent Dorfman, the freshman who along with Tom Hulce...

This chunky and endearing actor has made the transition from playing buffoonish characters in teen fare to playing doctors and other professionals of dubious abilities but whose bumbly charm makes malpractice palatable. Stephen Furst is best recalled as Kent 'Flounder' Dorfman in "National Lampoon's Animal House" (1978) and as Dr. Elliot Axelrod, fighting obesity and questions of his competence, on the NBC series "St. Elsewhere" from 1983-1988.

Born in Norfolk, VA, Furst was orphaned at age 16 and he lived with an aunt before attending college. By this time, he had found two vices to fill the emptiness--food and theater, ballooning to over 300 lbs., but also becoming (in his words) "a drama nerd". His size no doubt helped him win the role of Pseudelous in "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" at the Cavalier Theatre in his native Norfolk in 1972. Four years later, he married his college sweetheart and headed for Hollywood, passing time delivering pizzas. (Oddly, he would play a delivery man in his first TV appearance on an episode of the ABC series "Family" in 1979). Furst had his first big break when he won the role of the clownish Kent Dorfman, the freshman who along with Tom Hulce joins the Delta House fraternity and punctuates the antics with exclamations of "This is great!" in the box-office success "Animal House". The actor reprised the role in "Delta House" the 1979 ABC sitcom loosely based on the movie. Typecast, he went on to appear in a string of lightweight, teen-oriented comedies like "Scavenger Hunt" (1979) and "Up the Creek" (1984). His career might have ended with the appearance of crow's feet, had Furst not won the role of Dr. Axelrod on "St. Elsewhere". (Which lore says was originally intended as only a five-line, one-time role.) Elevated to the category of "actor" in the minds of Hollywood, Furst was able to parlay that role into regular gigs as a priest in the short-lived sitcom "Have Faith' (ABC, 1989), an alien ambassadorial aide in "Babylon 5" (syndicated, 1994-1997; TNT, 1997-98), and a man who misses the only danger signs in his own marriage in "Misery Loves Company" (Fox, 1995). He also landed a recurring role on "Melrose Place" in 1993, and starred with his "St. Elsewhere" castmate Howie Mandel in the comedy special "Sunny Skies" for Showtime (1995).

On the big screen, Furst made the transition to adult roles as a mental patient/baseball freak in "The Dream Team' (1989) and the down-on-his luck agent uncle in "The Magic Kid" (1994), a vehicle for young martial arts champion Ted Jan Roberts. He moved behind the camera to helm the sequel "Magic Kid 2" (1994) as well as episodes of "Babylon 5". Furst has also lent his distinctive vocal talents to several animated programs including "Freakazoid!" and "Road Rovers".

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

2.
  Magic Kid 2 (1994) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Movin' In (2006)
3.
5.
 Sorority Boys (2002) The Alum
6.
8.
 Baby Huey's Great Easter Adventure (1999) Voice Of Baby Huey
9.
 Baby Huey's Great Easter Adventure (1999) Phantom'S Manager
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1972:
Made stage debut as Pseudolus in "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" in Norfolk, Virginia
1978:
Featuren acting debut as Kent 'Flounder' Dorfman in "National Lampoon's Animal House"
1978:
TV debut in "The Bastard" (Syndicated)
1979:
Made episodic TV debut on "Family" (ABC)
1979:
Reprised role of Kent Dorfman in short-lived ABC sitcom "Delta House"
1983:
Played Dr. Elliot Axelrod on the acclaimed NBC medical show "St. Elsewhere"
1989:
Played priest in short-lived ABC sitcom "Have Faith"
:
Co-starred as Vir Cotto on "Babylon 5" (syndicated 1994-1997; TNT, 1997-1998)
1994:
Film directorial debut with "Magic Kid 2"
1995:
Was regular on the short-lived Fox sitcom "Misery Loves Company"
1998:
Signed multipicture deal with Harvey Enterrtainment to direct films
:
Helmed "Stagehost" (lensed 2000)
:
Directed the low-budget indie "Title to Murder" (lensed 2000), starring Christopher Atkins and Maureen McCormick
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Virginia Commonwealth University: Richmond , Virginia -

Notes

In 1996, Furst was diagnosed with diabetes. After dropping over 85 pounds in the late 1990s, he was featured in an educational video produced by the American Diabetes Foundation called "Diabetes for Guys". (Source: People, June 4, 2001)

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Lorraine Wright. Met in college; she converted to Judaism before marrying him; married on June 13, 1976.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Nathan Feuerstein. TV repair specialist, jewelry salesperson, pawnbroker. Died when Furst was 16.
mother:
Lillian Gish Feuerstein. Died when Furst was 16.
son:
Nathan Furst. Born on July 4, 1978.
son:
Griff Furst. Born on September 17, 1981.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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