Art LaFleur, Actor in The Sandlot, The Santa Clause, Passes Away at 78

Actor Art LaFleur, known for his work as Babe Ruth in The Sandlot among various other projects, has tragically passed away at the age of 78. His passing was confirmed by his wife Shelley, nothing that LaFleur lost a 10-year battle with A-typical Parkinson's disease. LaFleur was 78 years old.

While audiences would most remember LaFleur for The Sandlot, the actor had several notable acting credits. He portrayed Chick Gandil of the Chicago White Sox in another iconic baseball film, Field of Dreams. Gandil was a part of the 1919 scandal, where the team was dubbed the Black Sox for conspiracies that they blew winning the 1919 World Series for money. LaFleur also played the Tooth Fairy in The Santa Clause 2 and 3, opposite Tim Allen.

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LaFleur's impressive television credits include appearances in various sitcoms and drama series. Some of these included roles on M*A*S*H, Lou Grant, The A-Team, Home Improvement, Doogie Howser, Malcolm in the Middle, ER, and The Mentalist. One of his latest acting appearances included a brief role on Key & Peele in 2015. His resume becomes all the more impressive when considering that LaFleur didn't get into acting until he moved to Los Angeles at the age of 30.

His wife Shelley had the following to say about her husband and his career:

"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. 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. 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."

Thank you, Art, for making us smile and reminding us to believe in ourselves.

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John Lutz (101 Articles Published)

John Lutz is a Weekend Film/Television News Writer for Collider. He joined the team in the summer of 2021, but has been an avid fan and follower of the site for years. With a Bachelor's Degree in journalism, John has always enjoyed writing, particularly for film and television, going so far as to minor in film studies. He manages all of the written content for the independent podcast Post-Credit Brews, in addition to serving as a co-host. John is an avid fan of the MCU, action, and sci-fi films, but also enjoys a good thriller or work from a true cinematic auteur. His passion also extends into television, and he will riot if Bob Odenkirk doesn't win an Emmy Award by the end of Better Call Saul's run.

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