Oscar-nominated actor Michael Lerner of ‘Barton Fink’ dies at 81

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Michael Lerner, the prolific character actor identified for his work in “Barton Fink,” “Godzilla,” “Elf” and the “X-Males” film franchise, has died. He was 81.

The Oscar-nominated performer died Saturday night, his nephew and fellow actor Sam Lerner confirmed Sunday afternoon on Instagram. Sam Lerner, who at present stars within the ABC sitcom “The Goldbergs,” shared a number of throwback photographs of Michael Lerner and hailed his uncle as “a legend.”

“It’s laborious to place into phrases how sensible my uncle Michael was, and the way influential he was to me,” Sam Lerner wrote.

“His tales all the time impressed me and made me fall in love with performing. He was the good, most assured, gifted man, and the truth that he was my blood will all the time make me really feel particular. Everybody that is aware of him is aware of how insane he was — in the easiest way. I’m so fortunate I acquired to spend a lot time with him, and we’re all fortunate we are able to proceed to observe his work for the remainder of time. RIP Michael, take pleasure in your limitless Cuban cigars, cozy chairs, and countless film marathon.”

In 1992, Michael Lerner obtained an Oscar nod for his acclaimed portrayal of fictional Hollywood studio head Jack Lipnick within the Coen brothers’ “Barton Fink.” All through his profession, Lerner amassed greater than 150 credit spanning movie and TV.

Shortly earlier than securing his Academy Award nomination, Lerner informed the Los Angeles Instances he based mostly his “Barton Fink” efficiency on legendary producer and co-founder of MGM Studios, Louis B. Mayer.

“I even discovered a pair of glasses in a junk store that have been similar to those he wore,” Lerner recalled on the time. “As quickly as I put them on, I felt like Mayer.”

By the point he booked the position of Jack Lipnick, Lerner was no stranger to portraying Hollywood moguls: He additionally performed Columbia Photos co-founder Harry Cohn in 1983’s “Rita Hayworth: The Love Goddess” and Warner Bros. President Jack Warner in 1980’s “Moviola: This Yr’s Blonde.”

“I really like enjoying real-life folks,” he informed The Instances in 1991. “It provides me an opportunity to grow to be that individual for some time.”

Lerner was additionally lively on the California theater scene. After learning drama at UC Berkeley, he grew to become a member of the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. He later appeared in a number of Los Angeles productions earlier than making his big-screen debut in 1970’s “Alex in Wonderland.”

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