The entertainment world was rocked on Sunday with the news that veteran character actor Michael Lerner had passed away at the age of 81. The Oscar-nominated star of such films as “Barton Fink,” “Godzilla” and “Elf” left an indelible mark on Hollywood and will be remembered for generations to come.
Lerner’s death was confirmed by his nephew, “The Goldbergs” actor Sam Lerner, who paid tribute to his uncle through a post on Instagram.
A Career Spanning Decades
Michael Lerner began his career in the 1960s with appearances in television shows like “The Defenders” and “The Nurses.” He made his feature film debut in 1968’s “Madigan,” starring Henry Fonda. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, he appeared in a number of films including “Harlem Nights,” “Eight Men Out,” and “Clueless.”
In 1991, he received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Jack Lipnick in the Coen Brothers’ classic film, “Barton Fink.” He also had memorable roles in other films such as 2003’s blockbuster hit, “Elf,” starring Will Ferrell.
An Enduring Legacy
Michael Lerner left behind an enduring legacy that will live on for many years to come. His nephew Sam Lerner said it best when he wrote: “We lost a legend today. My uncle Michael Lerner passed away last night at 81 years old. He was an incredible actor who touched so many lives with his performances over the years.”
He continued: “I am so proud to have been able to call him my uncle and I will miss him dearly. Rest In Peace Uncle Mikey!” Fellow actors such as Will Ferrell also paid tribute to their colleague via social media posts expressing their sadness at his passing.
A Final Farewell
On Sunday, April 10th 2023, friends and family gathered together to pay their final respects to Michael Lerner at a private memorial service held in Los Angeles. It was a fitting send-off for one of Hollywood’s most beloved character actors who will be remembered fondly by all those whose lives he touched throughout his long career.