George Segal, whose long career included the role of Albert “Pops” Solomon on “The Goldbergs” and the Oscar nomination for Supporting Actor for “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf,” died Tuesday. He was 87 years old.
His wife Sonia announced his death, saying: “The family is devastated to announce that this morning George Segal died from bypass surgery.”
Longtime Segal Director Abe Hoch said: “I am saddened by the passing of my close friend and client for many years. I will miss his warmth, humor, camaraderie and friendship. He was a wonderful human.
Some of the best directors of the 1960s and 1970s, including Robert Altman, Mike Nichols, Paul Mazursky, and Sidney Lumet, chose Segal for his quality of all softly humorous men, and he often played an unlucky professional or an emerging writer. scene. over his head.
In Edward Albee’s 1967 adaptation of Nichols “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” Segal played a college professor who finds himself caught up in a night of psycho games with Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. The film was nominated for 13 Oscars, including Segal’s for Supporting Actor, and won five.
Segal appeared in all eight seasons of the ABC sitcom “The Goldbergs” as the grandfather of the family-based clan of creator Adam F. Goldberg.
The awesome actor was a staple in late 60s and 70s movies such as “Bye Bye Braverman”, “A Touch of Class”, “The Hot Rock” and “Fun With Dick and Jane”. Other notable credits during this time included the romantic comedy “The Owl and the Pussycat”, in which he co-starred with Barbra Streisand, “Loving”, “Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe?” ” “The Terminal Man” and “The Black Bird”.
He starred as a lawyer in Carl Reiner’s comedy “Where’s Poppa?” With Ruth Gordon as her pissed off mother, and played another lawyer in Mazursky’s “Blume in Love”. In Altman’s “California Split,” he co-starred with Elliot Gould as a man falling into a gambling addiction.
He also had recurring roles in “Just Shoot Me!”. “Murphy’s Law” and “Take Five”.
Born in Great Neck, New York, Segal studied at the Actor’s Studio and appeared on Broadway in shows such as “Gideon” and “Rattle of a Simple Man”.
After being signed by Columbia Pictures, he got his first movie role in “The Young Doctors”. After several television appearances, he won his first major film role in Stanley Kramer’s “Ship of Fools” and then appeared in “King Rat”. He has also appeared in several acclaimed television films including “Of Mice and Men”, “Death of a Salesman” and “The Desperate Hours”.
He enjoyed playing the ukulele and banjo, making a banjo music album with his band The Imperial Jazz Band, and performing on “The Tonight Show” as well as in many of his film and television roles.
After a slower period in the 1980s when he appeared in a few popular films such as ‘Look Who’s Talking’, a new generation of directors showed interest in Segal as a character actor and he appeared in “To Die For,” by Gus Van Sant. “Flirting With Disaster” by David O. Russell and “The Cable Guy” by Ben Stiller. On “Entourage,” Segal played veteran manager Murray Berenson.