selenak: (Londo and Vir by Ruuger)
[personal profile] selenak
Now, universe, this is just not fair. Stephen Furst has died, whoh played the wonderful Vir Cotto in my beloved Babylon 5.

If Londo's and G'Kars intertwining stories were for me the core of Babylon 5, Vir was its heart. He defied the cliché that a character who is good, sweet-natured and kind is per definition less interesting than the darker characters around him. Vir going from seeming comic relief to Londo's protesting conscience to the Centauri's best hope for a better future was moving, funny, dramatic - all of it. And Stephen Furst was up to whatever JMS wrote for him, with fantastic comic timing (the waving at Mr. Morden, for example) and heartrendering expressions (for example, the scene where he tries to apologize to G'Kar and G'Kar replies, well, here's the scene itself:



If you're in a scene with Andreas Katsulas and still hold your own, in a situation where you're a part of the people who occupied the other man's home planet (again) and you still make the audience feel for you as well as G'Kar, then you're an artist. Stephen Furst was.

I would have loved to include the scene between Vir and Londo after Cartagia's death as well, because for me that's not just one of Vir's best scenes but one of the show's most memorable, but alas, it doesn't seem to be on YouTube. Suffice to say: that scene says so much about who Vir is, about the Londo and Vir relationship, and also about B5 as a show, because most other shows would not have bothered with the aftermath of killing a villain so completely evil as Cartagia was.

Babylon 5 would not have been as good a show without Vir Cotto, and Vir Cotto might have been a very different character if he'd been played by anyone but Stephen Furst. I'm so grateful the two, Vir and Stephen Furst, found each other.

Date: 18 Jun 2017 13:45 (UTC)
andraste: Reflections. (G'Kar and Londo)
From: [personal profile] andraste
I do not believe in curses, so it would be nice if the universe would just leave the B5 cast alone. I can't believe that a full third of the main players have now died before reaching sixty-five :(. (Well, slightly less if you count both Na'Toths or include Corwin, but then there's Tim Choate and Robin Sachs from the recurring cast to consider.)

I only recently heard the wonderful story of how Stephen Furst got the part - he turned up with soap in his hair and soap-induced tears in his eyes and opened with an apology and thus won himself the job for being Vir better than anyone - and he proved that casting choice perfect in every scene he appeared in.

Date: 18 Jun 2017 13:45 (UTC)
ratcreature: RatCreature as Minbari (minbari)
From: [personal profile] ratcreature
How sad. He wasn't all that old either, was he? :(

Date: 19 Jun 2017 10:32 (UTC)
ratcreature: RatCreature is dejected: sigh (sigh)
From: [personal profile] ratcreature
Yeah, you don't think of diabetes as a deadly thing, but of course the longer you have it the more careful you need to manage or complications accumulate quickly. And it is really hard having to manage artificially what the body is supposed to balance automatically. Stupid meatsacks. :(

Date: 18 Jun 2017 15:50 (UTC)
bimo: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bimo
Not sure if I've ever told you the story of how I once met Stephen Furst in person, almost exactly twenty years ago, during a medium-sized convention in Cologne. Backstage, actually, because I happened to be on friendly terms with someone from the con's organisational team and was running some minor last minute errand for them.

At one point I accidentally bumped into Stephen Furst, who was super nice and friendly, 100% likable and even took the time to chat with me for a minute or so, probably because he realised how nervous and awkward I felt at that moment.

So sad to learn that he died.

Date: 18 Jun 2017 16:27 (UTC)
blueswan: (Default)
From: [personal profile] blueswan
Why is it the Babylon 5 cast that keeps taking the hits? This is so unfair. Stephen Furst was a man who could make me laugh, I always knew that, but it was B5 that taught me how good an actor he really was.

Date: 18 Jun 2017 16:30 (UTC)
gabolange: (delenn)
From: [personal profile] gabolange
I sometimes wonder if that cast is cursed...man, what terrible news.

Date: 18 Jun 2017 16:54 (UTC)
watervole: (Default)
From: [personal profile] watervole
Vir was a vital part of what made the show work. It's been a couple of years since my last B5 rewatch. I need to go back there soon...

Date: 18 Jun 2017 19:06 (UTC)
rivendellrose: (Delenn)
From: [personal profile] rivendellrose
I was so sad to hear about this yesterday. Vir was a marvelous character, and Stephen Furst did a fabulous job playing him with humor, compassion, and genuine courage. And, as you said, what marvelous comic timing he had, and what a talent for standing up even against the biggest and most overpowering acting talents (Andreas Katsulas, Peter Jurasik) on the show.

Date: 19 Jun 2017 06:25 (UTC)
kore: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kore
It's so sad. I don't believe in curses either, but damn, a lot of people in that cast have just been taken way too early.

Date: 19 Jun 2017 13:43 (UTC)
spikewriter: (horizon by eyesthatslay)
From: [personal profile] spikewriter
When I heard this, my reaction was just...damn.

And you stop and think what an incredibly talented group of actors that was and it's painful seeing so many of them leave us too soon.

Date: 25 Jun 2017 13:11 (UTC)
nolivingman: (Vir)
From: [personal profile] nolivingman
Very well said. It would have been easy to turn a character like Vir into just a boring background piece, but he was always a 3D person.

One of my favorite things was the very occasional Vir and Lennier scenes.

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