Art LaFleur, the actress best known for playing Babe Ruth in Sandlottet, died after a 10-year battle with A-type Parkinson’s, according to his wife Shelley. He was 78.
Among his most memorable Sandlot lines were, “Remember kid, there are heroes and there are legends. Heroes are remembered, but legends never die!”
While LaFleur is best known for Sandlottet, his face can be recognized from movies such as The field of dreams, where he played Black Sox leader Chick Gandil and Santa Claus 2 and 3, where he played the Tooth Fairy; as well as countless roles in classic TV series such as M * A * S * H, Lou Grant, Soap, Webster, The A-Team, Hill Street Blues, Thirtysomething, Northern Exposure, Home Improvement, Malcolm in the Middle, Doogie Howser, Coach, Baywatch, ER, JAG, House and Mentalists.
Ironically, despite his credit list, LaFleur did not start performing until he was in his 30s when he moved to LA
Shelly LaFleur posted the following memo on social media:
This guy … After 10 years of battling A-type Parkinson’s, Art LaFleur, the love of my life passed away. He brought laughter to as many people as Babe Ruth in Sandlot, The Tooth Fairy in Santa 2 and 3 and Chick Gandil in Field of Dreams just to name a few. He was a generous and selfless man who went over to his acting, but more importantly, who he was to his family and friends. Every place or set we visited him at, the cast and crew introduced themselves and told Molly, Joe and me how Art talked about us with such pride and love. He was never happier than the day this picture was taken when Glenda LaFleur, whom 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 loved me and whom I loved. Art was bigger than life and meant the whole world to us.