It has been confirmed that George Segal, the actor best known for playing Albert “Pops” Solomon on The Goldbergs as well as his Oscar-nominated role for Supporting Actor in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, has died aged 87 on Tuesday.
His wife, Sonia Segal, announced the death, stating: “The family is devastated to announce that this morning George Segal passed away due to complications from bypass surgery.”
Segal’s long term manager Abe Hoch later added, “I am saddened by the fact that my close friend and client of many years has passed away. I will miss his warmth, humour, camaraderie and friendship. He was a wonderful human.”
During his illustrious career, Segal was cast by a slew of the industries greatest ever directors including Robert Altman, Paul Mazursky, Mike Nichols and Sidney Lumet. However, his crowning artistic moment undoubtedly came with his performance in Edward Albee adaptation Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. In the movie, he played a college professor embroiled in an evening of psychological torture. Acting alongside two of Hollywood’s biggest ever stars, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, Segal stood his own and earned one of the films 13 Oscar nominations for his performance.
Segal later went on to appear in all eight seasons of ABC sitcom The Goldbergs as the grandfather in the beloved series. While he continued to star in movies such as Carl Reiner’s Where’s Poppa? as well as collaborating with Altman once more in California Split.
The Goldbergs creator, Adam F Goldberg, remembers Segal as a “legend”. He said: “It was a true honour 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.”
You can catch a clip of his legendary performance in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? below.