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Michael Lerner, known for ‘Elf,’ ‘Barton Fink’ roles, dies (Local Tips & Reviews)

The actor’s nephew Sam Lerner confirmed the star’s death on Instagram with a tribute post for his uncle.

WASHINGTON — Michael Lerner, best known for his role in the psychological comedy “Barton Fink,” died on Saturday night. He was 81. 

The actor’s nephew Sam Lerner, who stars in “The Goldbergs,” confirmed the star’s death on Instagram with a tribute post for his uncle. A cause of death was not immediately known.

“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. His stories always inspired me and made me fall in love with acting,” Sam’s caption read. “He was the coolest, most confident, talented guy, and the fact that he was my blood will always make me feel special. Everyone that knows him knows how insane he was— in the best way.” 

“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,” the actor added. “RIP Michael, enjoy your unlimited Cuban cigars, comfy chairs and endless movie marathon.”

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Lerner starred in several roles including “Godzilla,” “Elf” and “X-Men: Days of Future Past.” Perhaps his most famous role was as Jack Lipnick in the 1991 film “Barton Fink,” which landed him an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor.

Aside from movies, the 81-year-old was also featured in a variety of TV shows ranging from “The Brady Bunch” to “Glee.”

Lerner is the older brother of actor Ken Lerner, who also starred in “The Goldbergs” alongside Sam.

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