Phil Bruns

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Phil Bruns
Philip Bruns

(1931-05-02)May 2, 1931
DiedFebruary 8, 2012(2012-02-08) (aged 80)
OccupationActor, writer
Years active1959–2012
Spouse(s)Laurie Franks (?–2012) (his death)

Philip Bruns (May 2, 1931 – February 8, 2012) was an American television actor and writer. He portrayed George Shumway, the father of Mary Hartman on the 1970s comedic series Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.

Life and career[edit]

Bruns was born in Pipestone, Minnesota, the youngest of three children of Margie Evelyn Solon (née Trigg) and Henry Phillip Bruns. His ancestry was German and Irish.[1]

He graduated with a Bachelor's Degree from Augustana College in South Dakota. He earned his Master's Degree from the Yale School of Drama in New Haven, Connecticut. He also studied at the Old Vic Theatre School in London, England. He appeared as Morty Seinfeld in the sitcom Seinfeld, in a first-season episode entitled "The Stake Out", but was replaced in the role by Barney Martin after showrunners Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld decided they wanted the character of Morty Seinfeld to be harsher, as they thought Bruns was too laid-back for the role.[2]

He also appeared in Sanford and Son, Columbo: Exercise in Fatality, Barney Miller, Night Court, Airwolf, Just Shoot Me!, and M*A*S*H [3]

He appeared in dozens of films, TV commercials, and on and Off-Broadway plays (winning an Obie Award for "Mr. Simian" in the 1963-64 season). He played the Warlock in Werner Liepolt's "The Young Master Dante" at The American Place Theater in 1968.[citation needed]

Films in which Bruns appeared include A Thousand Clowns (1965), Jenny (1970), The Out-of-Towners (1970), The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight (1971), Silent Night, Bloody Night (1972), Harry and Tonto (1974), The Great Waldo Pepper (1975), Nickelodeon (1976), Corvette Summer (1978), The Stunt Man (1980), My Favorite Year (1982), Flashdance (1983), Amazon Women on the Moon (1987), Return of the Living Dead Part II (1988), Dead Men Don't Die (1991), The Opposite Sex and How to Live with Them (1993), Love Bites (1993), Pentathlon (1994), The Trigger Effect, and Ed (1996).[3] He wrote The Character Actor's Do's, Don't and Anecdotes', which was published in early November 2008.[4]


Until his death, Bruns resided in Hollywood with his wife, former Broadway musical actress Laurie Franks. He died of natural causes on February 8, 2012, aged 80.

Partial filmography[edit]


  1. ^ Phillip Bruns profile Archived 2015-02-22 at the Wayback Machine,; accessed March 4, 2017.
  2. ^ Hevesi, Dennis (2012-02-15). "Phil Bruns, Hard-Hat Dad on 'Mary Hartman,' Dies at 80". The New York Times. Retrieved 2017-03-20.
  3. ^ a b "Philip Bruns profile". Retrieved 16 March 2016.
  4. ^ U.S. Library of Congress:


  • Calvin, "Going Out of Business," Sanford and Son, NBC, 1974
  • Calvin, "My Kingdom for a Horse" (also known as "First Night Out"), Sanford and Son, NBC, 1974

External links[edit]