Acting veteran George Segal, who has been the patriarch on ABC’s The Goldbergs for the past eight years, has passed away at the age of 87 in Santa Rosa, California, his wife Sonia said on Tuesday.
“The family is devastated to announce that this morning George Segal passed away due to complications from bypass surgery,” said Sonia Segal in a statement issued to the local media outlets.
Segal was Oscar-nominated for 1966 black comedy-drama Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. The actor won laughs in the TV sitcom “The Goldbergs.”
“Today we lost a legend,” Goldbergs creator Adam F. Goldberg said in a tweet late Tuesday. “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.”
His manager Abe Hoch also wrote a sad note: “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.”
Taking to her Twitter feed, Goldbergs leading lady Wendi McLendon-Covey also paid tribute to her fallen colleague.
Melissa Joan Hart, titular star of Sabrina The Teenage Witch, directed Segal in an episode of The Goldbergs. She also paid tribute to the legend, saying, “Shocked and saddened to hear of #GeorgeSegal passing away!
Segal excelled in whatever he attempted especially his dramatic and comedic roles were par excellence. He remained passionate for the banjo all his life. His performance at New York’s Carnegie Hall in 1981 with his group, the Beverly Hills Unlisted Jazz Band was one of the highest moments of his life.
Segal’s acting career began on the New York stage and television in the early 1960s. He quickly moved into films, playing an artist in the star-studded ensemble drama “Ship of Fools” and a scheming, wily American corporal in a World War Two prisoner-of-war camp in “King Rat” in 1965.
Two years later he earned an Academy Award nomination as best supporting actor in the harrowing, marital drama “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” with Burton and Elizabeth Taylor.
For the past eight years, George Segal had been the patriarch on ABC’s The Goldbergs. He was arguably best known for his starring role on NBC’s late, great Just Shoot Me.
His final Goldbergs episode will reportedly air on April 7. -Agencies