‘Virginia Woolf,’ ‘Goldbergs’ star George Segal dies at 87

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — George Segal, the banjo participant turned actor who was nominated for an Oscar for 1966’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” and labored into his late 80s on the ABC sitcom “The Goldbergs,” died Tuesday in Santa Rosa, California, his spouse stated.

“The household is devastated to announce that this morning George Segal handed away as a consequence of problems from bypass surgical procedure,” Sonia Segal stated in a press release. He was 87.

George Segal was all the time greatest generally known as a comic book actor, turning into one of many display screen’s largest stars within the Nineteen Seventies when lighthearted grownup comedies thrived.

However his most well-known function was in a harrowing drama, “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”, primarily based on Edward Albee’s acclaimed play.

He was the final surviving credited member of the tiny forged, all 4 of whom have been nominated for Academy Awards: Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton for starring roles, Sandy Dennis and Segal for supporting performances. The ladies gained Oscars, the boys didn’t.

To youthful audiences, he was higher recognized for taking part in journal writer Jack Gallo on the long-running NBC collection “Simply Shoot Me” from 1997 to 2003, and as grandfather Albert “Pops” Solomon on the “The Goldbergs” since 2013.

“In the present day we misplaced a legend. It was a real honor being a small a part of George Segal’s wonderful legacy,” stated “Goldbergs” creator Adam Goldberg, who primarily based the present on his Eighties childhood. “By pure destiny, I ended up casting the right particular person to play Pops. Identical to my grandfather, George was a child at coronary heart with a magical spark.”

In his Hollywood prime, he performed a stuffy mental reverse Barbra Streisand’s freewheeling prostitute in 1970’s “The Owl and the Pussycat;” a dishonest husband reverse Glenda Jackson in 1973’s “A Contact of Class;” a hopeless gambler reverse Elliot Gould in director Robert Altman’s 1974 “California Break up;” and a bank-robbing suburbanite reverse Jane Fonda in 1977’s “Enjoyable with Dick and Jane.”

Groomed to be a good-looking main man, Segal’s profile had been rising steadily since his first film, 1961’s “The Younger Docs” during which he had ninth billing. His first starring efficiency got here in “King Rat” as a nefarious inmate at a Japanese jail camp throughout World Struggle II.

In “Virginia Woolf,” he performed Nick, one half of a younger couple invited over for drinks and to witness the bitterness and frustration of a middle-aged couple.

Director Mike Nichols wanted somebody who would get the approval of star Elizabeth Taylor, and turned to Segal when Robert Redford turned him down.

In line with Nichols’ biographer Mark Harris, the director stated Segal was “shut sufficient to the younger god he wanted to be for Elizabeth, and witty sufficient and humorous sufficient to take care of all that humiliation.”

He rode the movie to a future of stardom. Then within the late Nineteen Seventies, “Jaws” and different motion movies modified the character of Hollywood motion pictures, and the sunshine comedies that Segal excelled in turned passe.

“Then I acquired a bit older,” he stated in a 1998 interview. “I began taking part in city father roles. And that man type of was Chevy Chase, and after that there was actually no place to go.”

Apart from the 1989 hit “Look Who’s Speaking,” Segal’s movies within the Eighties and Nineteen Nineties have been lackluster. He turned to tv and starred in two failed collection, “Take 5” and “Murphy’s Regulation.”

Then he discovered success in 1997 with the David Spade sitcom “Simply Shoot Me” during which he performed Gallo, who regardless of his gruff method hires his daughter (Laura San Giacomo) and retains Spade’s nugatory workplace boy character on his payroll merely out of a way of affection for each.

Collection co-star Brian Posehn was one in all many paying Segal tribute Tuesday evening.

“I grew up watching him, whole old-fashioned appeal, easy comedic timing,” Segal’s “Simply Shoot Me” Posehn stated. “Doing scenes with him was one of many highlights of my life, however attending to know him a bit and making the legend snigger was even cooler.”

All through his lengthy appearing profession, Segal performed the banjo for enjoyable, turning into fairly achieved on the instrument he had first picked up as a boy. He carried out together with his personal Beverly Hills Unlisted Jazz Band.

Born in 1934 in Nice Neck, New York, the third son of a malt and hops seller, Segal started entertaining on the age of 8, performing magic methods for neighborhood youngsters.

He attended a Quaker boarding college in Pennsylvania and as an undergraduate at Columbia College organized “Bruno Linch and His Imperial Band,” for which he additionally performed banjo.

After graduating Segal labored non-salary on the New York theater Circle within the Sq., doing every little thing from ticket taking to understudy appearing. He studied drama with Lee Strasberg and Uta Hagen, and made his first skilled appearing look off-Broadway in Moliere’s “Don Juan.” It lasted one evening.

After a stint on Broadway in Eugene O’Neill’s “The Iceman Cometh,” he was drafted into the Military. Discharged in 1957, he returned to the stage and would start getting small movie roles.

In 1956 Segal married tv story editor Marion Sobel and so they had two daughters, Elizabeth and Polly, earlier than divorcing in 1981.

He married his second spouse, Linda Rogoff, in London in 1982 and was devastated when she died of a abdomen illness 14 years later.

“It was a time after I stated, `It’s not including up; I don’t get it anymore,” he recalled to an interviewer in 1999. “With Linda dying, I misplaced curiosity in every little thing. I labored simply to make a dwelling. Appearing, like life, turned a joyless job.”

Finally he reconnected with Sonia Schultz Greenbaum, who had been his girlfriend in highschool some 45 years earlier. They talked on the phone, typically so long as six hours, and have been married only a few months after reuniting.

“She helped me by way of the worst days of my life simply listening to me unload,” Seagal stated in 1999. “It was magic.”


The late AP Leisure Author Bob Thomas contributed biographical materials to this story.


AP Leisure Author Andrew Dalton on Twitter: https://twitter.com/andyjamesdalton

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