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George Segal (1934–2021), actor in movies, “The Goldbergs”

by Linnea Crowther

George Segal was an actor known for his long career in movies as well as for starring in the TV shows “The Goldbergs” and “Just Shoot Me.”

Movie career

Segal first came to prominence in the early 1960s, working in movies, TV, and on Broadway. His film debut was a small role in 1961’s “The Young Doctors.” By the mid-‘60s, Segal was attracting notice with roles in films including “King Rat” (1965), “Ship of Fools” (1965), and “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” (1966), for which he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. In the 1970s, Segal starred in films such as “The Owl and the Pussycat” (1970), “A Touch of Class” (1973), and “Fun With Dick and Jane” (1977). Segal’s later films include “Look Who’s Talking” (1989) and its sequel “Look Who’s Talking Now” (1993) as well as “The Cable Guy” (1996), “2012” (2009), and his final film role, “Elsa & Fred” (2014).

Small screen

Segal starred in two short-lived series in the 1980s: 1987’s “Take Five” and “Murphy’s Law,” which aired for a single season in 1988 and 1989. In 1997, he took a starring role on “Just Shoot Me,” playing Jack Gallo, owner and publisher of Blush magazine. Another leading role came in 2013 in “The Goldbergs.” Segal played Albert “Pops” Solomon, grandfather of the show’s 1980s family. He remained with the show until his death.

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Segal on landing a great role

“I don’t ever know how it happens. Sometimes it’s being in the right place at the right time, sometimes you’re just the guy they want. It’s impossible to explain. This is a real gambler’s business, acting. It’s a crapshoot, and you keep stepping up to the table and hope that your number comes up. Or it’s like being a used car in a used car lot. You’re just waiting for somebody to come over and kick your tires. You’ve got to be crazy to do this.” —from a 2013 AV Club interview

Tributes to George Segal

Full obituary: Los Angeles Times

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