George Segal, Oscar-Nominated Actor and 'Goldbergs' Star, Dead at 87
By Zach Seemayer
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Celebrated actor George Segal has died. The groundbreaking performer -- best known for his roles in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf and sitcoms such as Just Shoot Me! and The Goldbergs -- died on Tuesday.
Segal's wife of over two decades, Sonia Segal, confirmed the news in a statement to ET Tuesday evening, sharing, "The family is devastated to announce that this morning George Segal passed away due to complications from bypass surgery."
The actor's longtime friend and manager, Abe Hoch, also expressed his condolences and his memories of the beloved actor, sharing, "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."
Segal found early success in acclaimed films in the mid-1960s, with roles in Ship of Fools, King Rat and Lost Command, among many others. His biggest film role came in 1966 with Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, which earned him an Oscar nomination.
He became a leading man in the late '60s and throughout the 1970s, with roles in like Where's Poppa?, Bye Bye Braverman, California Split and A Touch of Class -- the latter of which earned him his Golden Globe Award in 1974.
Segal transitioned to television roles in the 1980s, securing major roles in numerous shows, but appeared less and less on the big screen. His career received something of a resurgence in the late '90s when he was cast as Jack Gallo, the sweetly out-of-touch yet wealthy publisher of a New York fashion magazine, in the hit NBC sitcom Just Shoot Me! The role earned him two Golden Globe nominations and the show ran for seven seasons.
His next major starring role came in 2013, when he was cast in The Goldbergs, playing the affable grandfather Albert. It was a role he was still playing through the show's eighth season, which is currently airing.His last episode is currently slated to air on April 7.
"For eight years, George Segal made us laugh as Pops on The Goldbergs, but his legacy in the entertainment world spans decades," ABC Entertainment said in a statement to ET. "His talent has left an indelible mark and we’re grateful for the laughter and joy he has given us all. Our thoughts and deepest condolences are with his wife, Sonia, and his family during this difficult time."
Adam F. Goldberg -- the creator of The Goldbergs, which is loosely based on his childhood -- took to Twitter to share a message of love for the man who played his character's grandpa for nearly a decade.
"Today we lost a legend. It was a true honor being a small part of George Segal’s amazing legacy," Goldberg wrote, alongside a montage of screenshots from different episodes showing Segal's fan favorite character. "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. I think these memories say it all..."
Today we lost a legend. 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. I think these memories say it all... pic.twitter.com/D1aNZuT20e