Home Improvement and The Santa Clause star Tim Allen has shared his thoughts on the passing of former co-star Art LaFleur. The Sandlot and Field of Dreams star also appeared alongside Allen in several projects over the years, earning a pleasant tribute from the Last Man Standing star.
Lafleur passed after a decade battling Parkinson’s disease, entering hospice care and passing at 78 on Wednesday, Nov. 17. According to prior reports, the actor was still joking with family before passing and was ushered off by his kids and wife, Shelley.
The Molinator Art LaFleur passed last Wednesday. This man a kind and gifted actor, husband and father Peace to you our beloved tooth fairy. And prayers to your family.
— Tim Allen (@ofctimallen) November 21, 2021
LaFleur appeared as Jim on Home Improvement in an episode from 1991, later rejoining Allen for The Santa Clause sequels as The Tooth Fairy. LaFleur’s Tooth Fairy was a bit more gruff than one might expect, going by the name The Molinator. Allen’s tribute to the late actor acknowledged this role in touching fashion.
Fans chimed in shortly after Allen posted his tweet, honoring the late actor and his memorable roles outside of The Santa Clause. “RIP to the Molarnator,” one fan wrote. “My daughter and I just watched Santa Claus 3 yesterday because she loves the 3rd one and now to know he’s gone is so sad. Now you have different kinds of wings Molinator,” another added. “Heartbreaking, Christmas will be a little sad this year while watching the trilogy,” a third wrote.
LaFleur enjoyed a long career with several memorable roles away from those mentioned above. He enjoyed roles in a few iconic ’80s films like The Blob remake and Cobra alongside Sylvester Stallone. He’d also appear on television in series like Man of the House and M*A*S*H. He shared a funny story that summed up in career in a 2011 Media Mikes interview
— Kenneth Vert Jones (@kennyvert) November 21, 2021
“It used to be Field of Dreams, then later Santa Clause but lately it’s been The Sandlot. You know it’s funny, every once in a while someone will come up and say, ‘Hey, you’re Art LaFleur!’ They’ll use my real name,” the actor said. “And I’m so shocked at that. I can understand somebody recognizing me from one of those films we’ve talked about but knowing my actual name? When they say, ‘you’re Art LaFleur, aren’t you,’ I’m always surprised.” The full quote is worth a read and really captures the attitude that his family and friends have shared in the aftermath of his passing.