Veteran actor and career funnyman George Segal, known for starring on The Goldbergs and appearing in dozens of movie roles over the past several decades, has sadly passed away. According to his wife, Sonia, Segal died of complications from bypass surgery in Santa Rosa, California. He was 87 years old.
Born on Feb. 13, 1934, George Segal took a very early interest in acting. After graduating from George School boarding school, Segal would go on to graduate from Columbia College of Columbia University in 1955 with a Bachelor of Arts in performing arts and drama. He would then serve in the U.S. Army, but continued to perform as a banjo player in a band called Corporal Bruno’s Sad Sack Six.
Once his military days were behind him, Segal further studied acting at the Actors Studio, signing with Columbia Pictures by 1961. A natural talent, some of his more acclaimed roles from the early years of his career include Ship of Fools, King Rat, The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, Blume in Love, and California Split. It wasn’t long before he had started getting some attention at awards season, as he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and won a Best Actor Golden Globe for A Touch of Class.
Segal also appeared as Matthew Broderick’s father in The Cable Guy and had roles in other movies like 2012, Love & Other Drugs, and Three Days to Vegas. His final movie performance was in the 2014 comedy-drama Elsa & Fred from director Michael Radford.
On the small screen, Segal is also known for playing Jack Gallo on the David Spade sitcom Just Shoot Me!. More recently, he had been starring as Albert “Pops” Solomon on The Goldbergs. Creator Adam F. Goldberg has since addressed Segal’s death, as he wrote on Twitter: “Today we lost a legend. It was a true honor being a small part of George Segal’s amazing legacy. By pure fate, I ended up casting the perfect person to play Pops. Just like my grandfather, George was a kid at heart with a magical spark. I think these memories say it all…”
Other Hollywood friends of Segal are paying tribute as well. Michael McKean writes: “George Segal has gone now. A career that kept going for 50+ because he loved it and he was great at it. RIP.”
Ed Asner adds: “George Segal in Where’s Poppa was one of the biggest laughs I have ever had in a movie. He was a great actor. Too many of these type of posts lately. RIP George!”
“Dearest George Segal, thank you for the chance to play your daughter in ‘It’s My Party.’ You were just the best and so lovely to me. My love to your wife and family. RIP dear, sweet George.”
Segal’s survivors include his wife, Sonia, with whom he’s been married since 1996; the two were former George School boarding school classmates. Previously, Segal had been married to Marion Segal Freed, and the couple had two children. Our thoughts go out to all of Segal’s family and friends at this painful time. May he rest in peace. This news comes to us from The Hollywood Reporter.