George Maharis

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George Maharis
George Maharis Route 66 1962.JPG
Maharis in the Route 66 publicity photo, 1962
Born (1928-09-01) September 1, 1928 (age 86)
Astoria, New York, U.S.
Occupation actor, singer, artist
Years active 1953–1993

George Maharis (born September 1, 1928 in Astoria, New York[1]) is an American actor who portrayed Buz Murdock in the first three seasons of the TV series Route 66. Maharis also recorded numerous pop music albums at the height of his fame, and later starred in the short-lived TV series The Most Deadly Game.

Early years[edit]

Maharis was one of seven children born to Greek immigrants in Astoria, Queens.[1] The earlier spelling of the name was "Mahairas". Although his father was in the restaurant business, George had early ambitions to be a professional singer. After injuring his vocal cords through overuse, he switched to acting.[citation needed]

He studied at the Actors Studio and appeared in Off-Broadway productions of Jean Genet's Deathwatch and Edward Albee's The Zoo Story. He appeared on Studio One, Kraft Television Theater, Goodyear Television Playhouse, Stirling Silliphant's Naked City and Otto Preminger's Exodus, and in the soap opera Search for Tomorrow as Bud Gardner, one of Joanne Gardner's relatives who married Janet Bergman Collins.

He attended Flushing High School and served in the United States Marine Corps for 18 months.[2]

Route 66[edit]

In 1960, Maharis appeared as Buz Murdock in the popular TV series Route 66, which co-starred Martin Milner. He received an Emmy nomination in 1962 for his continuing performance as Buz.

Maharis departed without completing his third season on the series, which saw him with health problems, including hepatitis.[3][4] Maharis said he left Route 66 for health reasons, due to the long hours and grueling conditions he frequently experienced while shooting episodes on location. "I have to protect my future," Maharis said in a 1963 interview. "If I keep going at the present pace, I'm a fool. Even if you have $4,000,000 in the bank, you can't buy another liver."[5] Series producers Stirling Silliphant and Herbert B. Leonard said that Maharis desired to break his contract and make movies.[5] After Maharis' departure, the show's appeal declined. Glenn Corbett stepped in as Milner's new sidekick on the road, Linc Case, but a year later, Route 66 was canceled.

Later career[edit]

Maharis, circa 1972

For Maharis, a string of films followed, including Quick, Before It Melts (1964), The Satan Bug and Sylvia (both 1965), A Covenant With Death and The Happening (both 1967) and The Desperados (1969). Returning to series television in 1970, Maharis starred as criminologist Jonathan Croft in the ABC adventure series The Most Deadly Game, co-starring Ralph Bellamy as Mr. Arcane. The series lasted twelve episodes, ending in January 1971. He modeled for the July 1973 issue of Playgirl magazine as one of the first celebrities to do so.[6]

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Maharis guest-starred in many television series, including Mission: Impossible, Fantasy Island, Kojak, McMillan & Wife, Barnaby Jones, Police Story, Switch, Cannon, Night Gallery, and The Bionic Woman, as well as Murder, She Wrote in 1990. He appeared as Count Machelli, King Cromwell's War Chancellor in The Sword and the Sorcerer (1982). He also starred with the Kenley Players in productions of Barefoot in the Park (1967) and How the Other Half Lives (1973) and in national touring company productions of Company and I Ought to Be in Pictures. In the 1980s, he performed in Las Vegas.[citation needed] In 1993, he performed in Doppelganger.

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1953 Marty Man at Dance Hall TV; uncredited
1953 The Philco Television Playhouse Dancer at the Dance Club
1957 Goodyear Television Playhouse
1958 The Mugger Nicholas Grecco
1959 Brenner
1960 Alcoa Theatre Johnny Cesare
1959–60 Naked City Johnny Gary
1960 Exodus Yaov
1961 Splendor in the Grass uncredited
1960–61 Search for Tomorrow Bud Gardner TV
1960–63 Route 66 Buz Murdock
1963 The Judy Garland Show
1964 Quick Before It Melts Peter Santelli
1965 Sylvia Alan Macklin
1965 The Satan Bug Lee Barrett
1965 Hullabaloo
1966 A Small Rebellion Michael Kolinos TV
1966 Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre Michael Kolinos
1967 A Covenant with Death Ben Lewis
1967 The Happening Taurus
1967 The Danny Thomas Hour Phil Pearson TV
1968 Escape to Mindanao Joe Walden
1968 Journey to the Unknown Drake
1969 The Desperados Jacob Galt
1969 Land Raiders Paul Cardenas
1969 The Monk Gus Monk TV
1970 El Último día de la guerra Sgt. Chips Slater
1970 The Most Deadly Game Jonathan Croft TV
1971 Night Gallery Peter Lacland
1971 Cade's County Deek Minty
1971 Medical Center Evan Kenbrook
1972 Cannon Paul Stubber
1972 The Victim Ben Chapel TV
1973 Mission: Impossible Thomas Bachman
1973 Barnaby Jones Warren Davis
1974 Movin' On Harry Armour TV
1974 Wide World Mystery Walter
1974 Come Die with Me Walter Burr
1974 Shaft Wally Doyle
1974 Marcus Welby, M.D.
1974 The Snoop Sisters Robert Duware
1974 Thriller Mark Fields
1974 Death in Space TV
1974 McMillan & Wife Walter Webley
1974 Nakia Joe Arnold TV; episode "Pete"
1975 Murder on Flight 502 Robert Davenport TV
1976 Ellery Queen Dr. Tony Bender
1976 Rich Man, Poor Man Joey Quales TV miniseries
1976 Good Heavens Gary Lawrence
1976 Jigsaw John
1976 Bert D'Angelo/Superstar Lee Mitchell
1976 Look What's Happened to Rosemary's Baby Guy Woodhouse TV
1976 Gibbsville
1976 The Bionic Woman Sgt. Bob Welton
1977 SST: Death Flight Les Phillips TV
1977 Kojak Ringer
1973–77 Police Story Hank Delany
1977 The Feather and Father Gang Sherwin
1977 Switch Clouston
1978 Return to Fantasy Island Benson TV
1978 Logan's Run Gavin
1978 Crash Evan Walsh TV
1979–82 Fantasy Island Dr. Hal Workman
1982 The Sword and the Sorcerer Machelli: Cromwell War Chancellor
1984 Matt Houston Dr. Charles Brockway
1984 The Master Garrett
1989 Superboy Mr. McAlister
1990 Murder, She Wrote Alex Burton
1993 Doppelganger Mike Wallace

Art and music[edit]

Maharis released LPs and singles through Epic Records earlier in his career. His only Top 40 pop hit was his version of the standard Teach Me Tonight, which hit #25 in June 1962, although several other singles charted below the Top 40. Later he performed in nightclubs, and pursued a secondary career as an impressionist painter. As of 2008, Maharis was still painting, while splitting his time between New York and Beverly Hills.[6]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

US LPs (complete list)[edit]
  • 1962 – George Maharis Sings! – Epic LN 24001/BN 26001[7]
  • 1962 – Portrait in Music – Epic LN 24021/BN 26021[8]
  • 1963 – Just Turn Me Loose! – Epic LN 24037/BN 26037[9]
  • 1963 – Where Can You Go For a Broken Heart? – Epic LN 24064/BN 26064[10]
  • 1964 – Make Love to Me – Epic LN 24079/BN 26079
  • 1964 – Tonight You Belong to Me – Epic LN 24111/BN 26111
  • 1966 – New Route: George Maharis – Epic LN 24191/BN 26191
US CD Reissues[edit]
  • 1995 – George Maharis & John Davidson (Songs from George Maharis Sings!) Sony 28950
  • 2000 – George Maharis Sings!/Portrait in Music (2 LPs on 1 CD) Collectibles ASIN B00004TRWR[11]

Singles[edit]

US 45 RPM (incomplete list)[edit]
  • 1962 – "After the Lights Go Down Low" / "Teach Me Tonight" – Epic 5-9504
  • 1962 – "They Knew About You" / "Love Me as I Love You" – Epic 5-9522
  • 1962 – "I'll Never Smile Again" / "Can't Help Falling In Love" – Epic 5-9545
  • 1962 – "(Get Your Kicks On) Route 66" / "You Must Have Been A Beautiful Baby" – Epic 3-9548
  • 1962 – "Baby Has Gone Bye Bye" / "After One Kiss" – Epic 5-9555
  • 1963 – "Don't Fence Me In" / "Alright, Okay, You Win" – Epic 5-9569
  • 1963 – "Where Can You Go (For a Broken Heart)" / "Kiss Me" – Epic 5-9600
  • 1963 – "That's How It Goes" / "It Isn't There" – Epic 5-9613
  • 1963 – "It's a Sin to Tell a Lie" / "Sara Darling" – Epic 5-9653
  • 1964 – "Tonight You Belong to Me" / "The Object of My Affection" – Epic 5-9696
  • 1965 – "I'm Coming Back for You" / "Lonely People Do Foolish Things" – Epic 5-9753
  • 1965 – "Where Does Happiness Go" / "More I Cannot Do" – Epic 5-9772
  • 1965 – "You Always Hurt the One You Love" / "Quien Sabe? (Who Knows? Who Knows?)" – Epic 5-9844
  • 1965 – "A World Without Sunshine" / "Ivy" – Epic 5-9858
US 45 RPM Reissues (incomplete list)[edit]
  • "Teach Me Tonight" / "Baby Has Gone Bye Bye" (At least one reissue on Memory Lane)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Stars of TV's 'Route 66' working on opposite coasts". Albuquerque Journal. November 16, 2003. Retrieved April 21, 2012. "George Maharis was born September 1, 1928, in Astoria, N.Y." 
  2. ^ Gehman, Richard (April 14, 1961). "George Maharis: TV's hard-driving rebel". TV Guide. 
  3. ^ Genzlinger, Neil (May 18, 2012). "A Half-Century-Old Road to Today". The New York Times. 
  4. ^ George Is Back on the Road, "Television" supplement to Australian Women's Weekly, August 8, 1962, archived from the original on 2004-08-28 
  5. ^ a b They Come to Blows: Route 66, Movie Screen Yearbook 1963, 1963, archived from the original on 2009-10-26 
  6. ^ a b Rahner, Mark (March 5, 2008). "George Maharis, "Route 66" and that Corvette are back—on DVD". The Seattle Times. 
  7. ^ George Maharis – George Maharis Sings! at AllMusic. Retrieved September 6, 2014.
  8. ^ George Maharis – Portrait in Music at AllMusic. Retrieved September 6, 2014.
  9. ^ George Maharis – Just Turn Me Loose! at AllMusic. Retrieved September 6, 2014.
  10. ^ George Maharis – Where Can You Go for a Broken Heart? at AllMusic. Retrieved September 6, 2014.
  11. ^ George Maharis – George Maharis Sings! / Portrait in Music at AllMusic. Retrieved September 6, 2014.

External links[edit]