Celebrities and colleagues were mourning and celebrating the life of actor George Segal after he passed away at the age of 87 on Tuesday.
Segal’s wife Sonia Segal confirmed that the veteran actor died in Santa Rosa, California after suffering complications from bypass surgery. Segal’s on-screen career spanned more than 50 years and included an Academy Awards nomination for his role in 1966’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, while more recently he had been a regular on the ABC sitcom The Goldbergs, a show that is currently airing its eighth season. Tributes to Segal quickly flooded social media following news of his passing.
“Today we lost a legend,” The Goldbergs creator Adam F. Goldberg tweeted alongside a collage of images featuring Segal. “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…”
“George Segal in Where’s Poppa was one of the biggest laughs I have ever had in a movie,” actor Ed Asner tweeted, referring to Segal’s starring role in the 1970 film directed by Carl Reiner. “He was a great actor. Too many of these type of posts lately. RIP George!”
“Shocked and saddened to hear of #GeorgeSegal passing away!” actress and director Melissa Joan Hart tweeted. “From being on set of #JustShootMe to directing him on #Goldbergs, he was a true gem and great man. He will be missed!”
“George Segal has gone now,” This is Spinal Tap actor Michael McKean tweeted. “A career that kept going for 50+ because he loved it and he was great at it. RIP”
“So sorry to hear of the passing of the wonderful George Segal!” tweeted actress Morgan Fairchild. “We did The Zany Adventures of Robin Hood together & I guested on Just Shoot Me. One of a kind and always a joy! #RIPGeorge #RIPGeorgeSegal”
“Aww man, not George,” comedian and actor Brian Posehn tweeted. “I grew up watching him, total old school charm, effortless comedic timing. Doing scenes with him was one of the highlights of my life, but getting to know him a little and making the legend laugh was even cooler. I’ll miss you, sir. RIP George Segal.”
“Dearest George Segal, thank you for the chance to play your daughter in ‘It’s My Party,'” Academy Award-winning actress Marlee Matlin tweeted. “You were just the best and so lovely to me. My love to your wife and family. RIP dear, sweet George.”
“My personal favorite George Segal movie is ‘The Hot Rock,'” tweeted actor and comedian Ben Stiller. “What a career. What a nice man, what an iconic cool funny 70’s movie star. #RIP”
In addition to his roles in television and film, Segal worked in live theater, including several appearances on Broadway. He was also known as a talented banjo player, recording three albums while also sometimes playing the instrument during acting roles.
“I am saddened by the fact that my close friend and client of many years has passed away,” Segal’s manager Abe Hoch said in a statement obtained by Newsweek. “I will miss his warmth, humor, camaraderie and friendship. He was a wonderful human.”
Segal’s final filmed appearance on The Goldbergs is set to air on April 7, according to Deadline. A statement from the show describes Segal as “kind, sweet, talented and beyond funny,” while noting his banjo playing, “infectious laugh” and remarking that “it is no surprise to any of us that knew him so well that he is a true national treasure.”
“For eight years, George Segal made us laugh as Pops on ‘The Goldbergs,’ but his legacy in the entertainment world spans decades,” ABC Entertainment added in a statement. “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.”