george segal dead

George Segal, the Oscar-nominated actor seen in films like Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Where’s Poppa?, and sitcoms like The Goldbergs, has died. He was 87.

Segal died Tuesday in Santa Rosa, CA, of complications from bypass surgery, Segal’s wife Sonia confirmed.

“The family is devastated to announce that this morning George Segal passed away due to complications from bypass surgery,” she said in a statement.

His performance as a young professor in Mike Nichols’ Best Picture nominee Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? opposite Hollywood icons Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton earned him a Best Supporting Actor nomination at the Oscars, and was just one highlight of a rich and varied career that spanned the big and small screen.

Segal was a familiar face of 1970s Hollywood comedies, appearing opposite such leading ladies as Eva Marie Saint in Loving (1970), Barbra Streisand in The Owl and the Pussycat (1970), Susan Anspach in Paul Mazursky’s Blume in Love (1973), Glenda Jackson in A Touch of Class (1973), Goldie Hawn in The Duchess and the Dirtwater Fox (1976), Jane Fonda in Fun With Dick and Jane (1977), Jacqueline Bisset in Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe? (1978) and Natalie Wood in The Last Married Couple in America (1980).

But before his incredible ’70s run as rom-com leading man, Segal was being groomed for stardom in the ’60s, appearing in films helmed by legendary directors like Stanley Kramer (Ships of Fools, 1965), Roger Corman (The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, 1967), Sidney Lumet (Bye Bye Braverman, 1968), Carl Reiner (Where’s Poppa?, 1970), Herbert Ross (The Owl and the Pussycat, 1970), Paul Mazursky (Blume in Love, 1973) and Robert Altman (California Split, 1974)His other film credits also include King RatThe Terminal Man, The Black Bird, Russian Roulette, Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe?, All’s Fair, Time of Darkness, For the Boys, two Look Who’s Talking films, and David O. Russell’s Flirting with Disaster.

On the small screen, Segal is probably best known for his role in the NBC sitcom Just Shoot Me, for which he earned two Golden globe nominations for his role as magazine publisher Jack Gallo. He also headlined the late-’80s ABC detective drama Murphy’s Law, the 1987 CBS comedy Take Five, and TV Land sitcom Retired at 35.

Segal worked well into his 80s, starring as a series regular on ABC’s acclaimed 1980s-set family comedy The Goldberg for the past eight years. The last episode he filmed before his death is set to air on April 7. The Goldbergs is also expected to pay tribute to Segal on air.

“On behalf of everyone at the Goldbergs, we are devastated at the loss of our dear friend George,” a statement from the show said. “He was kind, sweet, beyond talented and funny. George was the true epitome of class, and he touched all of our lives so deeply. It was an honor and a privilege to have him as a colleague and friend all of these years. It is no surprise to any of us that knew him so well that he is a true national treasure.”

Born on February 13, 1934, in Great Neck, NY, Segal served in the military before getting his start on the stage and then on the small screen, guesting on shows such as Naked City, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, and Arrest and Trial.

Segal was married three times: to film editor Marion Sobel from 1956 until 1983, to music manager Linda Rogoff from 1983 until her death in 1996, and to Sonia Schultz Greenbaum, his high school sweetheart, since 1996. He is survived by his daughters, Polly and Elizabeth.

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