Stephen Furst, who played hapless frat pledge Flounder in 'National Lampoon's Animal House,' has died

Stephen Furst, best known for his role as the hapless Delta House fraternity pledge Kent “Flounder” Dorfman in the landmark comedy “National Lampoon’s Animal House,” has died. He was 63.

His sons Nathan and Griffin Furst posted a statement on Twitter that Furst died Friday due to complications from diabetes.

“Steve had a long list of earthly accomplishments,” read the statement. “He was known to the world as an brilliant and prolific actor and filmmaker, but to his family and many dear friends, he was also a beloved husband, father and kind friend whose memory will always be a blessing.”

Furst’s breakout role was as Dorfman in the 1978 film “Animal House,” which also marked the film debut of “Saturday Night Live” star John Belushi.

In the film, the overweight and socially awkward Dorfman and his friend Lawrence “Larry” Kroger (Tom Hulce) pledge at the raucous Delta House run by Eric “Otter” Stratton (Tim Matheson) and the slovenly John “Bluto” Blutarsky (Belushi). The comedy, which was directed by John Landis, was a massive hit and was also praised by critics. Furst reprised the role in the short-lived spinoff, ABC’s “Delta House” in 1979.

He was later a regular on “Babylon 5” and “St. Elsewhere.”

In addition to his acting career, Furst directed several low-budget films, and was a producer on the 2009 drama “My Sister’s Keeper,” starring Cameron Diaz.

“To truly honor him, do not cry for the loss of Stephen Furst,” his sons wrote. “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.”

greg.braxton@latimes.com

Twitter:@GeBraxton

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