Art LaFleur, a prolific actor known for his role as Babe Ruth in the classic film “The Sandlot” and as another baseball player in “Field of Dreams,” died Wednesday after a 10-year battle with Parkinson’s disease. He was 78 years old.
Shelley LaFleur, the actor’s wife, announced his death via a Facebook post published on Thursday.
“He was a generous and selfless man who moved into acting, but the most important thing was who he was to his family and friends,” said Shelley LaFleur, who was with the late actor for 43 years. “Art was larger than life and meant a world to us.”
LaFleur appeared in dozens of films throughout his career, including “The Blob” and “Cobra,” but was best known for playing Ruth in “The Sandlot,” appearing as her ghost to give advice to fictional character Benny Rodríguez. .
“Remember, boy: there are heroes and there are legends. Heroes are remembered, but legends never die. Follow your heart, boy, and you will never be wrong,” LaFleur says in one of the most iconic lines in the film.
The actor was born in 1943 in Gary, Indiana. LaFleur moved to Los Angeles in 1975 to pursue an acting career, according to his biography page on the movie site IMDB. He got his first job in 1977 and landed his first major movie role in 1980 in “The Hollywood Knights.”
LaFleur’s last major role was in 2006 as the tooth fairy in “The Santa Clause 3.”