Stephen Furst, the actor who played the hapless, beanie-wearing frat boy Flounder in the 1978 movie “Animal House,” has died at age 63, his son, Nathan Furst, told CNN on Saturday. “It was from complications from diabetes,” Nathan Furst said. “Over the last several years it was getting worse a little bit. Sort of the typical things that tend to happen when you have diabetes a long time.”
Furst was born May 8, 1955, in Norfolk, Virginia, as Stephen Fuerstein, according to the Internet Movie Database. He was orphaned at 16 and raised by an aunt, the Turner Classic Movies archives said. He started acting in high school, partly because he was self-conscious about his weight, he said in a 1985 interview with the Chicago Tribune.”I’m one of the most insecure people in the world, always have been, and when you’re a fat kid, you try to make the fat jokes before other people make them,” he said.
“I went to high school in Virginia Beach, Va., and we had these guys, they were surfers. They didn’t like me, never talked to me. And if they didn’t like you, they threw toothpicks at you. After I did a play, it was different. I found out I was pretty good at something.”
He graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University and delivered pizzas in Hollywood, giving himself publicity by putting his picture and resume inside the pizza boxes, IMDb said. Producer Matty Simmons discovered him and put Furst into “Animal House.”