George Segal, a longtime lead actor who can currently be considered the lovable grandfather at ABC “The Gold Mountains” died on Tuesday. He was 87 years old.
Segal’s wife, Sonia Segal, made a statement announcing her husband’s death through Sony Pictures Television “The mountains of gold.”
“The family is devastated when they announced that George Segal passed away this morning from complications from bypass surgery,” said Sonia Segal. The statement did not specify when the operation took place and no further details were given.
Segal’s friend and manager, Abe Hoch, also made a statement mourning Segal’s death.
“I am sad that my close friend and long-time customer has passed away. I will miss his warmth, humor, camaraderie and friendship. He was a wonderful person,” said Hoch.
Segal received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Nick in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? From 1966, the film adaptation of a play by Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor.
He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2017.
The actor who rose to film star in the 1960s and was an A-list star in the 1970s has won a new generation of fans in recent years as Albert “Pops” Solomon, Adam’s wise and ironically witty grandfather , Barry and Erica on “The Goldbergs”. He made a few episodes that have yet to be broadcast.
The Goldbergs creator Adam F. Goldberg, who based the series on his own family, honored Segal via Twitter.
“Today we lost a legend. It was a real honor to be a small part of George Segal’s amazing legacy. I chose the perfect person for Pops by sheer fate. Just like my grandfather, George was a child with a magical heart at heart Spark. I think these memories say it all … “he wrote in a tweet, which was accompanied by photos of Segal.
“The Goldbergs” completed a long and successful acting career for Segal. After graduating from Columbia University and serving in the US Army, he studied acting with Lee Strasberg and Uta Hagen in order to gain a foothold on the New York stage.
After a number of TV guest appearances, Segal broke through Stanley Kramer’s “Ship of Fools,” an Academy Award nominee for Best Picture of 1965 starring Vivien Leigh, José Ferrer and Lee Marvin. He followed with “King Rat” in 1965, “The Quiller Memorandum” in 1966 and “The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre” in 1967. He further polished his résumé with TV adaptations of Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman” (1966) and John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men” (1967).
After a number of leading roles in the 1960s, he firmly established himself as a leading man in the following decade, beginning with Carl Reiner’s direction “Where’s Poppa?” “The Hot Rock” followed in 1970 and 1972, where he shared a marquee dream with Robert Redford, “Blume in Love” in 1973 and “California Split” in 1974, in which Elliott Gould also played the leading role. He played the romantic lead against Oscar winners like Barbra Streisand in “The Owl and the Pussycat” from the 1970s, Glenda Jackson in “A Touch of Class” from 1973 and Jane Fonda in “Fun with Dick and Jane” the year 1977.
Segal also appeared in supporting roles in later films, including 1989 in “Look Who’s Talking”, 1995 in “The Babysitter” and 1996 in “The Cable Guy,” in which he played the father of Matthew Broderick’s character.
Segal had a long career on television prior to “The Goldbergs,” which premiered in 2013, including a six-season run on the NBC comedy “Just Shoot Me!” (1997-2003).
Segal, born February 13, 1934 in Great Neck, Long Island, New York, was also a talented banjo player. He released three albums and entertained talk show audiences late into the night with his musical skills.
When the news spread Tuesday night, other actors paid tribute to social media.
“The Mary Tyler Moore Show” star Edward Asner, a Segal contemporary, greeted “Where’s Poppa?” as “one of the biggest laughs I’ve ever had in a movie. He was a great actor. Too many of these types of posts lately. RIP George!”
Melissa Joan Hart, who worked with and also directed Segal, honored him on Instagram with a photo of the couple. “Shocked and sad to hear #GeorgeSegal is dying! From the set of #JustShootMe to directing #Goldbergs, he was a real gem and a great man. We will miss him!”
Morgan Fairchild who starred the screen with Segal in “The Mad Adventures of Robin Hood” and “Just Shoot Me!” Shared calling him “unique and always a joy!”
And Michael McKean, who knows a thing or two about comedic acting, paid tribute to Segal and his memorable career. “George Segal is now gone. A career that lasted over 50 years because he loved it and was great at it. RIP,” he tweeted.