Veteran actor George Segal has died at the age of 87. Segal was best known for his supporting turn in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, for which he earned and Oscar nomination, and for playing Albert “Pops” Solomon in ABC sitcom The Goldbergs.
Segal’s wife Sonia shared news of his death on Tuesday evening. “The family is devastated to announce that this morning George Segal passed away due to complications from bypass surgery,” she said, per Variety.
The actor’s longtime manager Abe Hoch also confirmed the news, saying, “I am saddened by the fact that my close friend and client of many years has passed away. I will miss his warmth, humor, camaraderie and friendship. He was a wonderful human.”
Born in Great Neck, New York in 1934, Segal earned his first film role in 1961 musical drama The Young Doctors. After multiple television appearances, he scored his first major roles in Stanley Kramer’s Ship of Fools and Bryan Forbes’ King Rat.
The following year, in 1966, Segal landed the role of Nick, a college professor who finds himself caught up in Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor’s psychological mindgames, in Mike Nichols’ adaptation of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. The high-profile release was ultimately nominated for 13 Oscars, including a Best Supporting Actor nod for Segal, and won five.
In the decades that followed, Segal appeared in countless film and television projects, including Bye Bye Braverman, The Hot Rock, Fun with Dick and Jane, The Owl and the Pussycat, Where’s Poppa?, and Murphy’s Law. A younger generation of viewers will recognize him in David O. Russell’s Flirting with Disaster, The Cable Guy, and Entourage, in which he played agent Murray Berensen.
In 2013, Segal was cast in The Goldbergs, an ABC sitcom set in the Philadelphia suburbs in the 1980s, as grandfather figure “Pops” Solomon. Segal appeared as a main character for eight years, and can be seen in the currently-airing eighth season.
Rest in Peace, George Segal. You will be missed.
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