Stephen Furst, St. Elsewhere and Babylon 5 Star, Dead at 62

Stephen Furst, best known to TV audiences for his role as Dr. Elliot Axelrod on the 1980s medical drama St. Elsewhere, has died. He was 62.

Furst died Friday morning in his Ventura County, Calif. home, his son tells TMZ. His death was a result of complications from diabetes.

Furst initially rose to fame as Kent “Flounder” Dorfman in the 1978 film Animal House, a role he would reprise one year later in the short-lived TV series Delta House. He would eventually go on to find small-screen success on St. Elsewhere, joining the show in Season 2.

In 1994, Furst booked the part of Vir Cotto on sci-fi series Babylon 5, which ran for five seasons through 1998. Additional TV credits included one-and-done programs Have Faith and Misery Loves Company, and appearances on The Jeffersons, CHiPs, Newhart and Scrubs. He also voiced the role of Booster on the animated series Buzz Lightyear of Star Command.

In addition to his work on screen, Furst was a longtime spokesperson for the American Diabetes Association.

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25 Comments
  1. Shaun says:

    Loved him on Babylon 5,he wasn’t very old either.

  2. Katie_Mead says:

    So many B5 residents have gone Beyond the Rim before their time. Vir was a favorite character for so many fans, thanks to those twinkles in Furst’s eyes.

    • ragnar51 says:

      Well dammit!! So true, the B5 cast is shrinking, RIP Vir Cotto!!

    • Imzadi says:

      So true, we have already lost so many from the Babylon 5 cast. Stephen Furst Vir Cotto was always one of my favorite characters. He will be missed.

  3. Couchmom says:

    Rip Flounder. 😢

  4. TV Gord says:

    St. Elsewhere is my all-time favorite TV series, and Axelrod was a great part of that series. I always felt bad that his character was killed right before the series finale, because he should have been there right to the end. However, his death had a real impact, and in that way, I understand.

    I was a standout in Animal House, and gave legitimacy to Delta House, which I thought should have been a hit.

    He will not be forgotten by me. I will remember all the entertainment he gave me over the years. His family should be proud of his legacy. He seemed to be a genuinely nice guy.

  5. Rick Katze says:

    Fondly remembered for Babylon 5.

  6. GuessWhat says:

    RIP
    quite a few from the St. Elsewhere cast are gone now
    =(

    • TV Gord says:

      Not really, considering the size of the cast. Most are still alive, and when you consider Norman Lloyd (Dr. Auschlander) is still going strong at 102, I think their track record is quite good.

  7. Tom says:

    EMPEROR COTTO! May he enjoy his travels beyond the rim with the many, many others who have passed from that beloved franchise

  8. Mark says:

    He had one of my all time favorite scenes in Babylon 5. I’m so sorry to hear of his passing.

  9. Rob White says:

    Cast of Babylon 5 is being wiped out. What a great show, but half the cast have died.
    Terrible.

  10. John says:

    Rip. Enjoyed his work on Babylon 5. 63 is way too young

  11. Rrtid54 says:

    Indeed, RIP

  12. spdavid says:

    Somewhere in heaven he’s trying to buy ten thousand marbles,please.Rest in Peace.

  13. PZombley says:

    He was an underrated actor and a surprisingly good director/producer of b movies (aka Stephen Furstein). We shouldn’t fail to credit him for that too. It’s what he did for the last 10+ years with some interesting credits

    I too can’t see anyone else doing as good of a job at Vir as he did. As with many of the B5 cast was meant to play the part he played.

  14. ragnar51 says:

    Hope this is OK with management. the link is to the Vir/Mr. Morden scene from B5.

  15. jless says:

    “Babylon 5” is my favorite Sci-Fi series, very well written and flawlessly plotted by Mr Straczynski. The actors were very well cast, and so sad to see so many of them gone.
    The character of Vir Cotto was supposed to be comic relief, but Stephen Furst brought a poignancy to the role that made him a favorite of mine. Great actor, sadly short life.

  16. Mike says:

    Also loved him in Jurassic Park, but will always remember Flounder. RIP

  17. Dan the critic says:

    Flounder joins Bluto up in Heaven.

  18. rjkitch13 says:

    He was the recipient of a great line – “Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, son.”