George Grizzard

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George Grizzard
George Grizzard Patricia Barry The Twilight Zone 1960.JPG
George Grizzard with Patricia Barry in The Twilight Zone episode The Chaser.
Born George Cooper Grizzard, Jr.
(1928-04-01)April 1, 1928
Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, U.S.
Died October 2, 2007(2007-10-02) (aged 79)
Manhattan, New York City, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1955–2006
Partner(s) William Tynan[1]

George Cooper Grizzard, Jr. (April 1, 1928 – October 2, 2007) was an American Emmy Award and Tony award-winning actor of film and stage. He appeared in more than 40 films, dozens of television programs and a number of Broadway plays.

Life and career

File:Jane Fonda George Grizzard A String of Beads 1961.jpg
Grizzard and Jane Fonda in a 1961 presentation of W. Somerset Maugham's "A String of Beads"

Grizzard was born in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, the son of Mary Winifred (née Albritton) and George Cooper Grizzard, an accountant.[2]

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).

In more recent years, he guest-starred several times 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.

He would also appear in The Golden Girls as George Devereaux, the late husband of Blanche Devereaux; as well as Jamie Devereaux, George's brother.

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's last film appearance was in Clint Eastwood's Flags of Our Fathers.

He was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame in 2002.[3]


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.

Selected TV and filmography


External links