A longtime actor who appeared in a variety of classic movies has passed away on Saturday.
Michael Lerner, 81, was an American actor based in New York City who added over 180 acting credits to his name throughout his decades-long career.
Among other major roles, Lerner appeared as the domineering studio head Jack Lipnick in ‘Barton Fink’ and as crime boss Arnold Rothstein in Eight Men Out. The legendary actor also secured roles in the likes of Godzilla, Elf, and X-Men: Days of Future Past.
For his role in Barton Fink, Lerner was previously nominated for the Best Supporting Actor Academy Award.
“We lost a legend last night. It’s hard to put into words how brilliant my uncle Michael was, and how influential he was to me,” the actor’s nephew, Sam Lerner, expressed in a statement on Sunday.
Sam, who is also an actor, continued: “His stories always inspired me and made me fall in love with acting.
“He was the coolest, most confident, talented guy, and the fact that he was my blood will always make me feel special.”
Concluding his emotional post, Sam insisted that his uncle was “insane in the best way” and that we are all lucky to be able to continue watching his works after his passing.
“I’m so lucky I got to spend so much time with him, and we’re all lucky we can continue to watch his work for the rest of time,” he added.
“RIP Michael, enjoy your unlimited Cuban cigars, comfy chairs, and endless movie marathon.”
Besides the aforementioned movie appearances, Lerner had roles in dozens of other movies including Harlem Nights, Newsies, For Richer or Poorer, Celebrity, Ironside, The Off Couple, Melba, Hill Street Blues, and Barnaby Jones.
He also appeared in The Rockford Files, Tales from the Crypt, Law & Order: SVU, Kingdom Hospital, Clueless, Glee, Matumbo Goldberg, Courthouse, MASH, The Good Guys, Starsky and Hutch, and many more.
Our thoughts are with Michael’s family and friends during this challenging time.