George Segal

George Segal Headshot

Actor • Musician

Birth Date: February 13, 1934

Death Date: March 23, 2021

Birth Place: Great Neck, New York

Though he was Oscar-nominated for his role as the dinner guest of dysfunctional couple Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in the film classic "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" (1966), George Segal went on to enjoy his most significant success as a comic actor with wry wit and debonair charm. During the 1970s, Segal was an A-list film actor with a string of comedies that paired him with Robert Redford in "The Hot Rock" (1972), Barbra Streisand in "The Owl and the Pussycat" (1970), and Jane Fonda in "Fun with Dick and Jane" (1976), though Segal was not able to retain the high film profile of his co-stars into the next decade. Instead, he found his niche in television movies for a number of years before resurfacing with "dad" roles in a new generation of comedies like "Look Who's Talking" (1989) and "The Cable Guy" (1996).

Younger generations, however, were most familiar with Segal through the popular office sitcom "Just Shoot Me" (NBC, 1997-2003), which earned Segal a number of Golden Globe nominations and kept him in the public eye with ongoing appearances as self-aggrandizing but quick-witted, charming executive types.

Segal was born Feb. 13, 1932, and raised in the New York suburbs of Long Island, where, as a child, he entertained neighbors with magic shows and musical performances. While attending Haverford College near Philadelphia, PA, the accomplished banjo player formed the ragtime band "Bruno Lynch and His Imperial Jazz Band" - using Lynch as a pseudonym - with whom he played professionally. After serving in the U.S. Army and graduating from Columbia University with a degree in drama, Segal ultimately found himself cleaning toilets at New York's Circle in the Square Theatre during its heyday. He would do anything to pursue his acting dream.

Also at the theater, he understudied a part in "La Ronde" that he was never able to perform, but in 1955, made his New York stage debut in Moliere's "Don Juan" before returning to that theater a year later to act in the historic Jose Quintero-helmed production of Eugene O'Neill's "The Iceman Cometh," which launched the career of Jason Robards. Segal landed work in the New York Shakespeare Festival's "Antony and Cleopatra" and the off-Broadway revival of Jerome Kern's "Leave It to Jane" before finding success with "The Premise," a long-running improvisational revue which introduced him to comic writer, Buck Henry.

In 1961, Segal appeared in a New York stage production of Paddy Chayefsky's "Gideon" and made his film debut in "The Young Doctors" (1961); soon after, he signed a deal with Columbia Pictures that significantly raised his profile. Following small roles as a soldier in the World War II film classic "The Longest Day" (1962) and the "Young Doctors" sequel, "The New Interns" (1964), Segal had a larger supporting role in the confusing Western, "Invitation to a Gunfighter" (1964) and attracted more attention as a distraught newlywed in Stanley Kramer's "Ship of Fools" (1965). But it was the World War II POW tale, "King Rat" (1965), that provided Segal's real breakthrough as an anti-hero con man who effectively manipulates the meager goods and characters of his fellow prisoners, most of whom have higher military rank. "The Knack" (1964) marked Segal's first association with director Mike Nichols, who two years later directed Segal in his Oscar-nominated supporting turn in "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" (1966). Segal shot to the top of Hollywood's A-list for the challenging role of a young professor and half of a married couple invited to dinner at the dysfunctional home of a senior professor (Richard Burton) and his wife (Elizabeth Taylor) in the Edward Albee adaptation. Given further opportunity to display his skill with great American playwrights, Segal followed up with a performance as Biff in Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman" (CBS, 1966).

In "The Quiller Memorandum" (1966), an atypical spy pic, Segal went through the entire action without even using a gun; his air of detachment underlining a secret agent's loneliness and lack of relaxation. Segal broadened his scope to television, where he was cast as escaped convict Glen Griffin in "The Desperate Hours" (ABC, 1967), a gangster in "The St. Valentine's Day Massacre" (1967), and George in "Of Mice and Men" (ABC, 1968). The actor's shift towards comedy began when he co-starred in Sidney Lumet's proto-"Big Chill" comedy, "Bye, Bye, Braverman" (1968), after which he hunted down a misogynistic Rod Steiger in "No Way to Treat a Lady" (1968) and played a beleaguered Jewish son in Carl Reiner's cult comedy classic, "Where's Poppa?" (1970). Further stretching his range to include romantic leads, Segal starred opposite Eva Marie Saint in "Loving" (1970) and as the bookish roommate of an aspiring entertainer/prostitute (Barbra Streisand) in the romantic comedy, "The Owl and the Pussycat" (1970), scripted by old friend, Buck Henry.

Segal and Robert Redford teamed up as dashing thieves in the comic caper "The Hot Rock" (1972) before Segal took home a Golden Globe Award for "A Touch of Class" (1973), in which he starred as a philandering executive who falls in love in the midst of what was supposed to be a quick affair. Glenda Jackson, in an Oscar-winning performance, co-starred opposite the charming Segal. With the success of that romantic comedy, the actor was at the top of his game and a proven box office draw. He followed up with another well-received buddy comedy, pairing with Elliott Gould to play gambling addicts in Robert Altman's comedic "California Split" (1974). His parody of Sam Spade in "The Black Bird" (1975) was a relative flop, as was the Western comedy "The Duchess and the Dirtwater Fox" (1976) co-starring Goldie Hawn. But the actor scored again when he and Jane Fonda co-starred in the upper-middle class caper, "Fun with Dick and Jane" (1976). After the slick comedy whodunit "Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe?" (1978), however, things went downhill for Segal. A failed attempt to repackage the chemistry between Segal and Glenda Jackson in "Lost and Found" (1979) happened the same year Segal declined a starring role in Blake Edwards' "10" (1979), which was a huge hit and positioned Dudley Moore to take over as the romantic comedy king of the early 1980s.

Segal's unsuccessful pairing with Natalie Wood as "The Last Married Couple in America" (1980) led to the even worse "Carbon Copy" (1981), in which Segal starred as a man who discovers he has a teenaged African-American son (Denzel Washington) by a former affair. Television came to the rescue of Segal's floundering movie career, with a critically acclaimed role as an attorney in HBO's sinister "The Deadly Game" (1982) and leading roles in the CBS TV movies, "Trackdown: Finding the Goodbar Killer" (1983), "The Zany Adventures of Robin Hood" (1984), "Not My Kid" (1985) and "Many Happy Returns" (1986). In a long overdue return to his dramatic stage roots, Segal portrayed John Lithgow's greedy fight manager in "Requiem for a Heavyweight," based on the classic 1950s teleplay by Rod Serling. Segal's starring role as a jazz banjo player in the sitcom "Take Five" (CBS, 1987) was short-lived, as was "Murphy's Law" (ABC, 1988-89), an hour-long drama that cast him as a cantankerous insurance fraud investigator.

Segal's feature luck began to improve when he appeared as Kirstie Alley's father in the family comedy blockbuster "Look Who's Talking" (1989). He went on to deliver impressive supportive turns in the Bette Midler vehicle "For the Boys" (1991), and as a Vietnam veteran in "Me, Myself and I" (1992). Segal reprised his role in the inevitable sequel "Look Who's Talking Now" (1993), going on to play Ann-Margret's love interest in "Following Her Heart" (NBC, 1994) and offer up a great performance as a sleazy TV executive seduced by aspiring news anchor Nicole Kidman in Gus Van Sant's "To Die For" (1995). In 1996, Segal essentially kicked off the "dad" period of his career with his portrayal of the naïve father of famed Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss in "The Good Doctor: The Paul Fleiss Story" (CBS, 1996) and supporting roles as Eric Roberts' father in "It's My Party" (1996), Ben Stiller's adoptive father in "Flirting With Disaster" (1996), and Matthew Broderick's father in "The Cable Guy" (1996). He reunited with old screen flame Streisand in the indulgent "The Mirror Has Two Faces" (1996) before finally finding steady small screen success as the magazine owner father of Laura San Giacomo on the long-running NBC sitcom, "Just Shoot Me" (1997-2003).

Segal also briefly held down a recurring part as Tea Leoni's father (and Mary Tyler Moore's husband) on NBC's "The Naked Truth" (ABC/NBC, 1995-98), as well as made recurring appearances on the Emmy-nominated sketch show, "Tracey Takes On " (HBO, 1996-99), but "Just Shoot Me" became the calling card of Segal's later career. He earned Golden Globe nominations for his work on the show - most of which was spent humorously befuddling onscreen assistant David Spade - in 1999 and 2000. At the same time, he returned to the Broadway stage in 1999 to star with Wayne Knight and Buck Henry in the Tony-winning play, "Art" (1999).

When "Just Shoot Me" came to and end in 2003, Segal remained on the radar with guest spots on high-end primetime offerings like "Boston Legal" (ABC, 2004-08) and a recurring stint on "Entourage" (HBO, 2004-). In a surprising return to movie theaters, Segal had a supporting role in Roland Emmerich's big budget, end-of-the-world disaster film, "2012" and also appeared in the romantic comedy "Made for Each Other," both in 2009. Late in his career, Segal returned to television with a co-starring role on '80s-set sitcom "The Goldbergs" (ABC 2013- ) as rakish grandfather Albert "Pops" Solomon. George Segal died on March 23, 2021 at the age of 87 following complications from bypass surgery.

Credits

Goldbergovi

Actor
Show
2023

Admiral BL: Dein Verein

Actor
Albert 'pops' Solomon
Show
2018

Meet the Goldbergs: Behind the Scenes With TV's Funniest Family

Actor
Pops Solomon
Show
2017

Wrestling: WWE SmackDown!

Actor
Albert 'pops' Solomon
Show
2017

Wrestling: WWE Raw

Actor
Albert 'pops' Solomon
Show
2017

Elsa & Fred

Actor
John
Movie
2014

The GoldbergsStream

Actor
Pops Solomon
Series
2013

Retired at 35Stream

Actor
Alan Robbins
Series
2011

Scooby-Doo: Mystery IncorporatedStream

Guest Voice
Peter Trickell
Series
2010

Love & Other DrugsStream

Actor
Dr. James Randall
Movie
2010
49%

2012Stream

Actor
Tony Delgatto
Movie
2009
39%

Made for Each Other

Actor
Mr. Jacobs
Movie
2009

Pushing DaisiesStream

Guest Star
Series
2007
96%

Private PracticeStream

Guest Star
Wendell Parker
Series
2007

Three Days to Vegas

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Movie
2007

The War at Home

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2005

American DadStream

Guest Voice
Bernie
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2005

Fielder's Choice

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JD
Movie
2005

Dinotopia: Quest for the Ruby Sunstone

Voice
Albagon
Movie
2005

Heights

Actor
Rabbi Mendel
Movie
2005

Boston LegalStream

Guest Star
Paul Cruickshank
Series
2004
86%

EntourageStream

Guest Star
Murray Berenson
Series
2004
65%

Bette

Guest Star
Show
2000

The Linda McCartney Story

Actor
Lee Eastman
Movie
2000

Law & Order: Special Victims UnitStream

Guest Star
Dr. Roger Tate
Series
1999
78%

The Ghoul

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1998

Houdini

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Beck
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1998

Just Shoot MeStream

Actor
Jack Gallo
Series
1997

The Good Doctor: The Paul Fleiss Story

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Leo
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1996

It's My Party

Actor
Paul Stark
Movie
1996

Flirting With Disaster

Actor
Mr. Coplin
Movie
1996

The Cable GuyStream

Actor
Steven's Father
Movie
1996
55%

The Mirror Has Two FacesStream

Actor
Henry Fine
Movie
1996
54%

Caroline in the CityStream

Guest Star
Series
1995

The Naked Truth

Guest Star
Series
1995
64%

The BabysitterStream

Actor
Bill Holsten
Movie
1995
29%

Picture Windows: Trilogy 1

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Ted Varnas
Movie
1995

November Conspiracy

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1995

High TideStream

Actor
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1994

Tiro Directo

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1994

Seasons of the Heart

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1994

Direct Hit

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1994

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1994

Army of One

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Lt. Franklin L. Severence
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1994

Deep Down

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Gil
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1994

Taking the Heat

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Kepler
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1993

Look Who's Talking Now

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1993

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1992

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1992

For the Boys

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1991

The Clearing

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1991

The Endless Game

Actor
Mr. Miller
Movie
1990

The Endless Game

Actor
Mr. Miller
Show
1989

Look Who's TalkingStream

Actor
Albert
Movie
1989
55%

Murphy's Law

Actor
Daedalus Patrick Murphy
Show
1988

All's Fair

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Colonel
Movie
1988

Run for Your Life

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Alan Morani
Movie
1988

Corre por Tu Vida

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1988

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1986

Killing 'Em Softly

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Jimmy Skinner
Movie
1985

Matandole Suavemente

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1985

Not My Kid

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Dr. Frank Bower
Movie
1985

Stick

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Barry
Movie
1985

Stick, le justicier de Miami

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Movie
1985

Murder, She WroteStream

Guest Star
Dave Novaro
Series
1984

The Cold Room

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Hugh Martin
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1984

The Zany Adventures of Robin Hood

Actor
Robin Hood
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1984

Les Folles aventures de Robin des bois

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Movie
1984

Trackdown: Finding the Goodbar Killer

Actor
John Grafton
Movie
1983

The Deadly Game

Actor
Howard Trapp
Movie
1982

Carbon Copy

Actor
Walter Whitney
Movie
1981

The Last Married Couple in America

Actor
Jeff Thompson
Movie
1980

Lost and Found

Actor
Adam
Movie
1979

Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe?

Actor
Robby Ross
Movie
1978

Receta Para un Crimen

Actor
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1978

Rollercoaster

Actor
Harry Calder
Movie
1977

Fun With Dick and Jane

Actor
Dick Harper
Movie
1977

The Duchess and the Dirtwater Fox

Actor
Charlie "Dirtwater Fox" Malloy
Movie
1976

The Black Bird

Actor
Sam Spade Jr.
Movie
1975

The Black Bird

Executive Producer
Movie
1975

Russian RouletteStream

Actor
Shaver
Movie
1975

The George Segal Show

Host
Show
1974

The Terminal ManStream

Actor
Harry Benson
Movie
1974
53%

El Robot Humano

Actor
Movie
1974

California SplitStream

Actor
Bill Denny
Movie
1974
87%

Blume in LoveStream

Actor
Stephen Blume
Movie
1973
71%

A Touch of ClassStream

Actor
Steve Blackburn
Movie
1973
85%

The Hot Rock

Actor
Kelp
Movie
1972
78%

Narcotráfico en Nueva York

Actor
Movie
1971

Born to Win

Actor
J
Movie
1971

Addict

Actor
J
Movie
1971

¿Dónde Está Papá?

Actor
Movie
1970

The Owl and the Pussycat

Actor
Felix
Movie
1970

Loving

Actor
Brooks Wilson
Movie
1970

Where's Poppa?Stream

Actor
Gordan Hocheiser
Movie
1970
82%

The Southern Star

Actor
Dan
Movie
1969

The Girl Who Couldn't Say No

Actor
Franco
Movie
1969

The Bridge at Remagen

Actor
Lieutenant Phil Hartman
Movie
1969

Of Mice and Men

Actor
George
Movie
1968

No Way to Treat a Lady

Actor
Morris Brummel
Movie
1968

Bye Bye Braverman

Actor
Morroe Rieff
Movie
1968

Le Refroidisseur des dames

Actor
Movie
1968

The Desperate Hours

Actor
Glen Griffin
Show
1967

The St. Valentine's Day MassacreStream

Actor
Peter Gusenberg
Movie
1967
89%

Lost Command

Actor
Lt. Mahidi
Movie
1966

Death of a Salesman

Actor
Biff Loman
Movie
1966

The Quiller Memorandum

Actor
Quiller
Movie
1966

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?Stream

Actor
Nick
Movie
1966
96%

Ship of FoolsStream

Actor
David
Movie
1965
61%

King Rat

Actor
Corporal King
Movie
1965

Caudillo de Desalmados

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1965

Invitation to a GunfighterStream

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Matt Weaver
Movie
1964

Act One

Actor
Lester Sweyd
Movie
1963

The Tonight Show Starring Johnny CarsonStream

Guest
Talk
1962

Alfred Hitchcock HourStream

Actor
Series
1962

I've Got a SecretStream

Guest
Game Show
1952

What's My Line?Stream

Guest
Game Show
1950

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