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George Cooper Grizzard, Jr.|
April 1, 1928
Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, U.S.
October 2, 2007 (aged 79)|
Manhattan, New York City, U.S.
George Cooper Grizzard, Jr. (April 1, 1928 – October 2, 2007) was an American Emmy Award- and Tony Award-winning actor of film, stage, and television. He appeared in more than 40 films, dozens of television programs, and a number of Broadway plays.
Life and career
Grizzard memorably appeared as an unscrupulous United States senator in the film Advise and Consent in 1962. His other theatrical films included the drama From the Terrace with Paul Newman (1960), the Western story Comes a Horseman with Jane Fonda (1978), and a Neil Simon comedy, Seems Like Old Times (1980).
Grizzard guest-starred several times during the 1990s on the NBC television drama Law & Order as defense attorney Arthur Gold. He also portrayed President John Adams in the Emmy Award-winning WNET-produced PBS miniseries The Adams Chronicles. In 1975, Grizzard played a Ku Klux Klan attorney in the NBC-TV movie Attack on Terror: The FBI vs. the Ku Klux Klan about the murder of three civil rights workers in Mississippi.
Grizzard made his Broadway debut in The Desperate Hours in 1955. He was a frequent interpreter of the plays of Edward Albee, having appeared in the original 1962 production of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? as Nick, as well as the 1996 revival of A Delicate Balance and the 2005 revival of Seascape. He also starred in You Know I Can't Hear You When the Water's Running.
In 1980, he won an Emmy for his work in The Oldest Living Graduate. He starred as reporter Richard Larsen in The Deliberate Stranger, a television movie about serial killer Ted Bundy. He won the 1996 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play for A Delicate Balance. Additional Broadway credits include The Creation of the World and Other Business, The Glass Menagerie, The Country Girl, The Royal Family, and California Suite.
Grizzard made a guest-star appearance in the outdoor drama, The Lost Colony, as the comedy character Old Tom on Roanoke Island, North Carolina, in the summer of 1984. The show was directed by Joe Layton.
In 2001, Grizzard played Judge Dan Haywood in a stage production of Judgment at Nuremberg opposite Maximilian Schell under the production of actor Tony Randall. Grizzard appeared as Big Daddy in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at the Kennedy Center in 2004.
Grizzard died in Manhattan of complications from lung cancer. According to his New York Times obituary, his only survivor was his long-time companion William Tynan. Grizzard had kept his sexuality private during his life.
Selected TV and filmography
- Justice (1955-1956, TV)
- Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1956–1962, TV Series) - Alan Chatterton / Hubert Winter / Ted Lambert
- The Twilight Zone (1960–1963, TV Series) - Alan Talbot / Walter Ryder, Jr. / Roger Shackleforth
- From the Terrace (1960) - Alexander 'Lex' Porter
- Thriller (1960, TV Series) - Merle Jenkins
- Advise and Consent (1962) - Senator Fred Van Ackerman
- Ben Casey (1963, TV Series) - Jonas King
- Dr. Kildare (1964, TV Series) - Douglas Martin
- Warning Shot (1967) - Walt Cody
- Marcus Welby, M.D. A Portrait of Debbie (1971, TV Series) - George Adams
- Happy Birthday, Wanda June (1971) - Dr. Norbert Woodley
- The Stranger Within (1974, TV Movie) - David Collins
- Attack on Terror: The FBI vs. the Ku Klux Klan (1975, TV Movie) - Attorney Clay
- The Lives of Jenny Dolan (1975, TV Movie) - Ralph Stantlow
- The Adams Chronicles (1976, TV Mini-Series) - John Adams
- Hawaii 5-0 (1978, TV Series) - Al Marsh
- Comes a Horseman (1978) - Neil Atkinson
- Firepower (1979) - Leo Gelhorn
- The Oldest Living Graduate (1980, TV Movie) - Floyd Kincaid
- Seems Like Old Times (1980) - Governor
- Wrong is Right (1982) - President Lockwood
- Trapper John M.D. (1984, TV Series) - Vernon Shaw
- Bachelor Party (1984) - Ed Thompson
- Spenser: For Hire (1985, TV Series) - Frank Silverman
- The Cosby Show (1985, TV Series) - Mr. Barker
- Murder, She Wrote (1985–1988, TV Series) - Edmund Hall / Prof. Tyler Stoneham / Dr. Aubrey Benton
- The Deliberate Stranger (1986, TV Movie) - Richard Larsen
- The Golden Girls (1988–1990, TV Series) - George Devereaux / Jamie
- Caroline? (1990, TV Movie) - Paul Carmichael
- Alex Haley's Queen (1993, TV Mini-Series) - Mr. Cherry
- Scarlett: Sequel to Margaret Mitchell's Gone With The Wind (1994, TV Mini-Series) - Henry Hamilton
- 3rd Rock from the Sun (1997–1998, TV Series) - George Albright
- Wonder Boys (2000) - Fred Leer
- Small Time Crooks (2000) - George Blint
- Law & Order (1992–2000, TV Series) - Arthur Gold
- Flags of Our Fathers (2006) - John Bradley (final film role)
- Robert Berkvist (3 October 2007). "George Grizzard, Actor Noted for Albee Roles, Dies at 79". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-04-02.
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