George Maharis, who plays the musing Buz Murdock in Route 66 before leaving the popular 1960s CBS drama series after contracting hepatitis, passed away. He was 94 years old.
Maharis passed away Wednesday at his home in Beverly Hills, his perennial friend and carer Marc Bahan said lame pantsHollywood reporter.
Route 66Created by Stirling Silliphant and Herbert B. Leonard, it features Hell’s Kitchen native Murdock, and Martin Milner’s Yale dropout Tod Stiles, touring America’s highways in a Chevrolet Corvette of Tod, encounter adventures along the way.
The show “is really a find or what you might have seen hundreds of years ago, where people cross the mountains to go from place to place in search of a better life, a place to live. to which they belonged, and they did not’ not rely on anyone else to do it for them,” Maharis said Seattle Times in 2008.
All 116 seasons of the series in the four seasons beginning October 1960 were filmed in cities across the United States, creating a packed production schedule.
Midway through the third season in late 1962, Maharis contracted hepatitis, was hospitalized for a month, and missed several episodes. (In the show, it is explained that Buz is in the Cleveland hospital battling the “echo virus” and that Tod has a new companion, Lincoln Case, played by Glenn Corbett.)
Maharis is back! Route 66 but it didn’t take long for a relapse. “The doctor said, ‘If you don’t get out now, you’re going to die or you’re going to have permanent liver damage,'” Maharis recalled in a 2007 interview.
Maharis, who received an Emmy nomination in 1962 for playing Buz, said it took him more than two years before he could work regularly again.
Black-haired actor dabbles in cinema, starring in John Sturges’ The Satan Bug (1965), a science fiction horror film by The Mirisch Co. and United Artists, but he never achieved the rebellious star status his television popularity grew.
Maharis was born on September 1, 1928 in the Astoria neighborhood of Queens, New York, one of seven children of Greek immigrants. He attended Flushing High School and spent 18 months with the United States Marine Corps.
He aspired to be a singer but loved acting and studied with Sanford Meisner and Lee Strasberg at The Actors Studio, then imitated actor Method Marlon Brando in the NBC comedy he peeked in 1955.
Maharis landed her first major role in an off-stage production of Jean Genet’s . death clock in 1958 and appeared in Edward Albee’s first produced play, zoo storyalso off Broadway, two years later.
He played an underground freedom fighter for Otto Preminger in Migration (1960), and on CBS Looking for tomorrowHe plays a gambler who treats his wife.
On an April 1959 episode of nude citysuspenseful ABC series created by Silliphant, Maharis appears as a character yearning to see the world, and that part serves as the pilot for Route 66.
During production Route 66Maharis somehow found time to fly to New York City to record a 1962 album for Epic Records, and he had a single that peaked at number 25 on the Billboard charts, “Teach Me” Tonight.”
After he got sick, Maharis asked that his hour on Route 66 was reduced, but the manufacturers refused. In his 2007 interview, he downplayed his claim that he used the condition to break his contract to jump into the movies. The lack of chemistry between Milner and Corbett contributed to Route 66 canceled in March 1964.
Maharis’s first film after starring on television was light comedy Hurry before it melts (1964). He later played a private detective opposite Carroll Baker in Sylvia (1965), in A contract with death (1967) and, as a hippie, in what is going on (1967).
In the 1970s, Maharis returned to TV. He, Ralph Bellamy and Yvette Mimieux play criminologists in the short series The deadliest gameand he was the winner of the miniseries in 1976 The Rich, The Poor. He also appeared on shows like Marcus Welby, MD, Night Gallery, McMillan & Wife, Biological woman And fantasy island.
Maharis later ventured back into cinema from time to time, including playing a revived magician in Sword and Sorcerer (1982), and his last on-screen appearance was The evil in me (1993).
In July 1973, he took nude photos for playgirl magazine, becoming the second actor (after Lyle Wagoner) to do so.
Survivors include brother and sister.