Art LaFleur, ‘The Sandlot,’ ‘Field of Dreams’ actor, dies at 78

Art LaFleur, a prolific character actor best known for his roles in 1993′s “The Sandlot” and 1989′s “Field of Dreams,” has died, according to his wife, Shelley LaFleur. He was 78 years old.

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Shelley LaFleur said in Facebook post Thursday that her husband died following a 10-year battle with “A-typical Parkinson’s.”

“He was a generous and selfless man which carried over to his acting but more importantly, it was who he was for his family and friends,” she wrote. “I was so very lucky to have had a 43-year relationship with a man who cherished me and who I adored.”

Art LaFleur began his acting career with a role in the 1978 made-for-TV movie “Rescue from Gilligan’s Island.” During an appearance in 2018 at the New York Film Academy’s Los Angeles campus, he said he had been taking acting classes for a few years and that he got the part because of his appearance.

“There were people in my acting class who were really good,” he said. “They were wonderful, but they wouldn’t get arrested, whereas I have this mug. I don’t know. I just have this face.”

Over the course of his acting career, Art LaFleur landed more than 100 roles on television and the silver screen. He appeared on a wide variety of shows, including “Key and Peele,” “The Mentalist,” “Cold Case,” “House,” “Malcom in the Middle,” “Matlock” and “Tales from the Crypt.” His film credits include appearances in the 2000 sports comedy film “The Replacements” and the 2004 romantic comedy “A Cinderella Story.”

“He brought laughter to so many people as Babe Ruth in the Sandlot, The Tooth Fairy in The Santa Clause 2 and 3, and Chick Gandil in Field of Dreams to name just a few,” Shelley LaFleur wrote Thursday. “Art was larger than life and meant the world to us.”

Art LaFleur is survived by his wife and two children.

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