Yes, I know this got mentioned a week ago, but I still have something to say.
On the 16th of June 2017, Stephen Furst joined Richard Biggs, Tim Choate, Andreas Katsulas, Johnny Sekka, Jeff Conaway, Michael O’Hare, and Jerry Doyle in the exclusive club of Deceased Babylon 5 Main Cast or Repeating Guest Stars. Mr. Furst is survived by his wife and their two children.
As far as I can remember I only saw Mr. Furst at one convention; Phoenix ComiCon 2013 and its Babylon 5 20th Anniversary Reunion. At the reunion panel the subject of death came up, of course, because of the several among the cast who couldn’t make it that day because of having gone beyond the rim. No one had anything bad to say about Richard Biggs, who died really suddenly and who had always been alive, full of energy, and someone who really enjoyed the con circuit. Andreas Katsulas knew his time was up and he spent his last few weeks getting everything in order and he died with as much dignity and as little fanfare as he could. Michael O’Hare had been difficult to work with on the set, as his (at-the-time) undiagnosed mental health problems caused a lot of strife among his co-workers; emotions about him were a bit more mixed. The Babylon 5 cast was still mortified about how Jeff Conaway was on an exploitative tv show which watched him slowly deteriorate in his physical and mental health conditions; they were still angry about how Jeff Conaway’s breakdown into a shell of a human being was used for tv ratings.
Two of them talked about their own recent near-death experiences. Jerry Doyle had had some kind of incident wherein he was only alive after a sudden hospitalization. Stephen Furst had had diabetes-related health issues for decades and an emergency kidney replacement probably saved his life.
Four years later, they’ve both also gone beyond the rim, which will make the planning for any 25th Anniversary Reunion slightly more difficult because it is very difficult to get deceased people to join reunion panels.
As a fan of Mr. Furst’s work, my thanks go to several SF/F fandom and general entertainment websites for providing memorial coverage for Stephen Furst. Bleeding Cool News And Rumors. The A.V. Club. The Verge. Comic Book Resources. MovieWeb. Nerdist. Empire Online. Hollywood Reporter. Among us Kinja folks Groupthink and Observation Deck reported on Mr. Furst’s passing.
Thank you to all of those websites for passing along the sad news.