Art LaFleur, who was best known for playing Babe Ruth in “The Sandlot,” has died. He was 78.
The actor passed away after a 10-year battle with Parkinson’s, his wife, Shelley LaFleur, announced on social media Thursday.
“This guy… After a 10 year battle with A-typical Parkinson’s, Art LaFleur, the love of my life passed away. 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. 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,” Shelley wrote.
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Art Lafleur during the Los Angeles premiere of Walt Disney Pictures’ “The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause” at El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, California. ( E. Charbonneau/WireImage)
“Every location or set we visited him on, the cast and crew would introduce themselves and tell Molly, Joe, and me how Art spoke of us with such pride and love. He was never happier than the day this picture was taken, when Glenda LaFleur, who he was overjoyed to have as a daughter, joined our family. I was so very lucky to have had a 43 year relationship with a man who cherished me and who I adored. Art was larger than life and meant the world to us.”
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In addition to his role in “The Sandlot,” LaFleur will also be remembered for playing Chick Gandil in another movie about baseball, “Field of Dreams.”
Actor Art LaFleur died after a 10-year battle with Parkinson’s. (Albert L. Ortega)
He also appeared in “The Santa Clause 2” and “The Santa Clause 3” as the tooth fairy. LaFleur appeared in other films including “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective,” “The Rig,” “Man of the House” and “House Hunting,” among others.
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Tim Allen, Art LaFleur and Ron Taylor in “Home Improvement” in 1991. (ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content)
He also appeared in several TV shows, including “M*A*S*H,” “Malcolm in the Middle,” “Home Improvement,” “Lou Grant,” “Webster,” “Soap,” “Hill Street Blues,” “The Incredible Hulk,” “Baywatch,” “ER,” “Doogie Howser,” “The Mentalist,” and more.