Stephen Furst (born Steven Nelson Feuerstein on 8 May 1954) is an American actor and film and television director.
Stephen Furst was born in Norfolk
. In 1972, Furst's father died from diabetes complications. Years later, Furst was diagnosed with type II diabetes
. One of his sisters, Marsha, died from kidney disease as a result of adult-onset diabetes. After almost needing to have his left foot amputated due to diabetes complications in 1996, Furst lost nearly 80 lb (36 kg) in the time between the third and fourth seasons of Babylon 5
. When filming started for the fourth season, the show's producers found that all of the costumes were now too large for him. His weight loss is easily visible in the later seasons of Babylon 5
. (This weight loss was not explained within the context of the Vir Cotto character.) He wrote the book Confessions of a Couch Potato
about his weight loss and diabetes, and co-wrote and directed a video called Diabetes for Guys
, an attempt to educate about diabetes management through humor.
Furst has two sons, both in the entertainment business. His older son, Nathan Furst (b. 1978), is a successful television and film composer who has been nominated for numerous awards. His younger son, Griff Furst (b. 1981), is an actor, director and musician. His wife, Lorraine, is an entertainment lawyer. He is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University's theater program.
Furst is best known for his roles as Flounder in the feature film Animal House
(1978), as Gonzer in the feature film Up the Creek
(1984), as Dr. Elliot Axelrod in the television series St. Elsewhere
(1983–1988), and as Vir Cotto
in the science fiction television series Babylon 5
Although not a regular, he also appeared in the short-lived 1992 TV series The Amazing Live Sea Monkeys.
In the 1995 animated TV series Freakazoid, he voiced the character Fanboy. Also in 1995, he took a hiatus from Babylon 5 to star in a short-lived TV series, Misery Loves Company. He had a starring voice role as Booster in the 2000 series Buzz Lightyear of Star Command. He also played a hunky walrus named Dash in the 2000 Disney movie The Little Mermaid 2: Return to the Sea
Furst has directed many independent and/or low-budget movies, including the low-budget movie Title to Murder starring Christopher Atkins and Maureen McCormick in 2001.
In 2002, he guest starred in an episode of Scrubs.
Furst directed three low-budget movies for the Sci Fi Channel, Dragon Storm in 2004; and Path of Destruction and Basilisk in 2005. He also co-starred in Path of Destruction and Basilisk.
Since June 2006 Furst has co-hosted the Renal Support Network's webcast KidneyTalk with Lori Hartwell.
- Furst, Stephen. (2002). Confessions of a Couch Potato (Or, If I'm So Skinny, Why Do I Still Feel Like Flounder?) McGraw-Hill. ISBN 1-58040-144-9