Michael Lerner, a seasoned character actor who was nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal of a domineering studio head in the 1991 movie "Barton Fink," has passed away, according to his nephew, actor Sam Lerner. He was 81.

On Sunday, Sam Lerner posted on Instagram, "We lost a legend last night." It's difficult to express how intelligent and influential my uncle Michael was to me. I've always been inspired by and in love with acting because of his stories.

The fact that he was my blood makes me feel extra special forever. He was the coolest, most self-assured, and talented guy. Everyone who knew him was aware of his best kind of insanity.

We're all fortunate that we may continue to appreciate his work for the rest of time and that I got to spend such a long time with him. Michael, may you rest in peace and enjoy an infinite supply of Cuban cigars, plush chairs, and movie marathons.

The cause of Lerner's passing was not disclosed. For more information, CNN has gotten in touch with Sam and Michael Lerner's representatives.

Michael Lerner, who studied acting at Brooklyn College, was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1941. Before being asked to join the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco, he later received a Fulbright grant and spent two years in London.

Lerner's career in Hollywood extended decades, with credits in both film and television dating back to the 1960s. His early work in the 1960s and 1970s included guest spots on programmes including "M*A*S*H," "The Bob Newhart Show," and "The Doris Day Show."

In "Alex in Wonderland," a 1970 movie starring Donald Sutherland and Ellen Burstyn, he played the role of Leo. Later, Lerner made cameos in movies like "The Candidate," "The Ski Bum," and "Outlaw Blues."

Before starring in "Barton Fink" in 1991, the actor made several appearances in the mid-1980s episodes of "Melba" and "Hill Street Blues." He received an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor for his work as studio executive Jack Lipnick, in which he co-starred with John Turturro, John Goodman, and Judy Davis.

Alongside Will Farrell, Lerner played Fulton in the holiday classic "Elf" throughout the aughts and 2010s. He also starred in episodes of "Law and Order: SVU," "The Good Wife," and "Glee."