George Cooper Grizzard, Jr. (April 1, 1928 â€" October 2, 2007) was an American 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

George Grizzard

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

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 Horsemani> 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.


George Grizzard

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 filmography

George Grizzard
  • Justice (1954) (TV)
  • Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1956â€"1962) (TV)
  • The Twilight Zone (1960â€"1963) (TV)
  • From the Terrace (1960)
  • Thriller (1960) (TV)
  • Advise and Consent (1962)
  • Ben Casey (1963) (TV)
  • Dr. Kildare (1964) (TV)
  • Warning Shot (1968)
  • Happy Birthday, Wanda June (1970) (Play)
  • Happy Birthday, Wanda June (1971) (Film)
  • Marcus Welby, M.D. A Portrait of Debbie (1971) (TV)
  • Attack on Terror: The FBI vs. the Ku Klux Klan (1975) (TV Movie)
  • The Lives of Jenny Dolan (1975)
  • The Adams Chronicles (1976) (TV)
  • Hawaii 5-0 (1978) (TV)
  • Comes a Horseman (1978)
  • The Oldest Living Graduate (1980) (TV)
  • Seems Like Old Times (1980)
  • Wrong is Right (1982)
  • Trapper John M.D. (1984) (TV)
  • Bachelor Party (1984)
  • Spenser: For Hire (1985) (TV)
  • The Cosby Show (1985) (TV)
  • The Deliberate Stranger (1986) (TV)
  • Murder, She Wrote (1985â€"1988) (TV)
  • The Golden Girls (1988â€"1990) (TV)
  • Caroline? (1990) (TV)
  • Alex Haley's Queen (1993) (TV)
  • Scarlett: Sequel to Margaret Mitchell's Gone With The Wind (1994) (TV)
  • 3rd Rock from the Sun (1997â€"1998) (TV)
  • Small Time Crooks (2000)
  • Wonder Boys (2000)
  • Law & Order (1992â€"2000) (TV)
  • Flags of Our Fathers (2006)


George Grizzard
  • Robert Berkvist (3 October 2007). "George Grizzard, Actor Noted for Albee Roles, Dies at 79". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-04-02. 

External links

  • George Grizzard at the Internet Broadway Database
  • George Grizzard at the Internet Movie Database
  • George Grizzard at the Internet Off-Broadway Database
  • George Grizzard at Find a Grave
  • George Grizzard papers, circa 1900-2007, held by the Billy Rose Theatre Division, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts

George Grizzard

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