On Saturday, April 8, 2023 actor Michael Lerner passed away after being nominated for an Oscar. At the time of deἀth, his age was 81. His nephew, “The Goldbergs” star Sam Lerner posted the news of his deἀth on Instagram on Sunday, April 9, 2023.
Sam wrote: “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”.
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There was no other information provided about Lerner’s passing. Michael’s performance as Jack Lipnick in “Barton Fink” was nominated for an Academy Award. He’d already worked on roughly 200 films including “Eight Men Out”, “Godzilla” and “X-Men: Days of Futures Past” and he was developing three more.
Everyone who knew him could attest to the fact that he was brilliantly insane. Sam, son of actor Ken Lenner, signed off: Goodbye Michael, enjoy your unlimited Cuban cigars, cozy seats and endless movie marathon.
Michael was in post-production on “Sallywood” which starred Sally Kirkland, Jennifer Tilly and Eric Roberts and was one of three films he had in development.
In addition to “Fragments from Olympus: The Vision of Nikola Tesla,” he co-starred with Sean Young and Ed Begley Jr. in “Edoardo, the Final Farewell.”
Michael was born and reared in Brooklyn and made his acting debut in the 1960s with the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. Two years later, he was invited to join the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco after having spent the previous two years in London on a Fulbright scholarship.
His career in Hollywood began when an agent saw him perform in San Francisco and convinced him to move to Los Angeles. Before landing roles on shows like “The Bob Newhart Show”, “Emergency!” and “M*A*S*H,” he made his cinematic debut with “Alex in Wonderland” in 1970.
He made his film debut alongside Donald Sutherland and Ellen Burstyn in the 1970s “Alex in Wonderland” in which he played the role of Leo. Following his success in “The Ski Bum”, “The Candidate” and “Outlaw Blues” Lerner continued to act in other films.
In the 1974 ABC TV movie “The Missiles of October” Lerner played alongside William Devane as White House Press Secretary Pierre Salinger. The Rockford Files, Kojak, Barnaby Jones and Hart to Hart were just a few of the shows he appeared on.
Lerner’s Oscar nomination for playing studio head Jack Lipnick in “Barton Fink” made it easier for audiences to recognize him in subsequent films such as “Newsies”, “Blank Check” and “Elf” where he played the publishing boss opposite James Caan.
In 2016, Lerner remarked on the “Barton Fink” script:
“I read the script, and you just know good writing. It was brilliantly written, and I just knew it, I did the monologue the way I wanted to do it and I just walked of the room and that was it. And Joel and Ethan were just sitting in a corner just laughing and laughing and that was it.”
If you’re curious about who passed away in the past week, you may find additional details in the posts given below:
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