Chris Pizzello / Invision / AP
Actor George Segal who first became a star alongside Elizabeth Taylor, Robert Redford and Barbra Streisand has died at the age of 87 after a career in stage, film and television that spanned more than 60 years.
An Oscar-nominated actor who recently finished his eighth season on the ABC show The Goldbergs, who died Tuesday morning from complications from bridging, his wife Sonia said in a statement.
“We lost a legend today. It was a real honor to be a small part of George Segal’s amazing legacy,” show creator Adam Goldberg, who gave Segal the role of a comic version of his own grandfather, wrote on Twitter.
Today we lost the legend. It was a real honor to be a small part of George Segal’s incredible legacy. By pure fate, I ended up throwing the perfect person to play Pops. Just like my grandfather, George was a child at heart with a magical spark. I think these memories say it all … pic.twitter.com/D1aNZuT20e
– Adam F. Goldberg (@adamfgoldberg) March 24, 2021
“By pure fate, I eventually put in the perfect person to play Pops. Just like my grandfather, George was a kid at heart with a magical spark,” Goldberg added.
Segal was born on February 13, 1932, and grew up in Great Neck, NY. He started his fun career as band player and continued to serve in the U.S. Army before graduating in drama from Columbia University.
Before breaking through as the leading man on the scene, the young and combative Segal cleaned the toilets at New York’s Circle in Theater Square. He made his debut in 1955 in a production of Moliere’s Don Juan. His first part in the film happened six years later. But that was his role as a young married professor in a 1966 classic,Who is afraid of Virginia Woolf, which put him on the Hollywood A-list and earned him an Oscar nomination.
An adaptation of Edward Albee’s play, directed by Mike Nichols, brought Oscar nominations for the entire cast; Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Sandy Dennis and Segal were all for the golden statue, but only Taylor and Dennis won.
Despite appearing in at least 70 films, Segal’s later career was revived mainly by comedic television roles that made him relevant to younger audiences. After starring in a series of “dads” in movies during the 1990s, he made the same transition to the small screen, especially as a father who owned a magazine in a long-running NBC sitcom Just shoot me.
He played a crazy and compliant grandfather, Albert “Pops” Solomon, on The Goldbergs since 2013
Abe Hoch, Segal’s manager and friend, said he was “saddened by the fact that my close friend and client has passed away”.
“I will miss his warmth, humor, camaraderie and friendship. He was a wonderful man,” Hoch added.