The actor, best known for his role as Dee Dee Tannenbaum in the film Field of Dreams, died in Toluca Lake, California, from complications from cancer. According to his friend, his longtime manager Greg Arnow, the actor’s health had been failing for months.
His previous work was praised by critics, and he appeared in a number of low-budget films and television programs, including The New Adventures of Old Christine, ER, Suddenly Susan, and Three’s Company.
He began his career in musical theater, and last appeared in a recent Broadway revival of South Pacific alongside Bernadette Peters.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Mr. LaFleur left the city to pursue a career in film after taking part in a number of Los Angeles musical theater productions in the 1950s. He acted on Broadway in productions of Guys and Dolls, Guys and Dolls The Carol Burnett Show, Footloose, and Bye Bye Birdie, and also appeared in a number of musicals on television, including early appearances on The Red Skelton Show and as one of the counselors in the sitcom Camp.
In 1978, Mr. LaFleur moved to New York, where he appeared in off-Broadway productions and television commercials, eventually landing small parts in films and television series, such as Death of a Salesman and Cocktail. His breakout role came in the movie A River Runs Through It, for which he earned a Golden Globe nomination. (His role as her husband, Conroy, came to be known as “Ray Lewis.”)
More recently, Mr. LaFleur appeared in The Water Boy, and on the Netflix series Godless.
R.I.P. @ArtLaFleur. LeBreton Flats Game 8. No matter your fandom, @TFC4real or Green Burundi, from the start to the finish, Art was a joy to watch. pic.twitter.com/SGsa4lkeuV — John Bedford Lloyd (@TheLloydReport) November 20, 2018
Wasting one of my Sundays now watching what I hope is the last game he was ever in. #RIPArtLaFleur pic.twitter.com/PqISRE3UlM — Jamie Hall (@jamiehall1854) November 20, 2018
At #DeadCenter with @ArtLaFleur today. Brilliant actor, gifted actor, beautiful actor and, as longtime friend Doug Naylor said, an “asshole.” pic.twitter.com/ny7LMkysX2 — Matt Novak (@paleofuture) November 20, 2018
A huge loss. Thanks for all your support & inspiring work. Rest in Peace. #RipArtLaFleur — Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) November 20, 2018
R.I.P Art LaFleur. No one worked harder. Thank you. #FieldofDreams #FieldofDreams4Ever pic.twitter.com/uBIfJm4xfW — Itchy Bones (@PleefulBaby16) November 20, 2018
In early life, the tragic story of his sister, Sandy, who passed away in 1999 was frequently told and mentioned. “It was in the newspaper every day. It was a thing that was, like, almost on a daily basis. And not in a bad way,” Mr. LaFleur once said. “It was a daily fact of life. And so, when my sister didn’t come back I used to go to the cemetery every day,” he said. “And I was able to just take some deep breaths and kind of put myself into a place where there were no ghosts or anything. I was just in my own little space.”
Mr. LaFleur is survived by his wife, Mary, as well as a brother, Steve.