George Segal Dead: 5 Things To Know About ‘The Goldbergs’ Actor Who Died At 87

George Segal, who starred in classic films alongside stars like John Travolta and made fans laugh as 'Pops' on 'The Goldbergs,' has sadly passed away. Learn more about his life accomplishments.

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Hollywood lost a beloved star, because George Segal has passed away. The death of the 87-year-old star on The Goldbergs was announced by his wife of 24 years, Sonia Schultz Greenbaum, in a heartbreaking statement on March 23. You can read on to learn the cause of the actor’s death — and the legacy he left behind in Hollywood — below.

Before we get into the details of George’s passing and career, we want to highlight the tributes his peers wrote for the revered actor. His work family from The Goldbergs wrote in a statement obtained by HollywoodLife, “On behalf of everyone at the Goldberg’s we are devastated at the loss of our dear friend, George.  He was kind, sweet, beyond talented and funny.  George was the true epitome of class and he touched all of our lives so deeply.  It was an honor and a privilege to have him as a colleague and friend all of these years.  It is no surprise to any of us that knew him so well that he is a true national treasure.  He will be missed by all.  POPS, we will miss your banjo playing and your infectious laugh.  Rest in peace.”

George’s Sony Pictures Television family also told HollywoodLife, “We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of George Segal. He was a true icon and legend in this business and an integral member of our Sony family.  George brightened the screen whenever he was on camera and was a warm and genuine gentleman. Our hearts, thoughts and prayers go out to his family and loved ones. We will miss him greatly.”

There was also the actor’s manager and friend, Abe Hoch, who wrote, “I am saddened by the fact that my close friend and client of many years has passed away.  I will miss his warmth, humor, camaraderie and friendship.  He was a wonderful human.”

George Segal’s Death Was Caused By ‘Complications’ From His Surgery

George Segal
George Segal in the 1966 film, The Quiller Memorandum. [Shutterstock]
“The family is devastated to announce that this morning George Segal passed away due to complications from bypass surgery,” his wife Sonia revealed in a statement obtained by HollywoodLife after George passed away on March 23, 2021.

A bypass surgery is also known as a coronary bypass surgery, and it “redirects blood around a section of a blocked or partially blocked artery in your heart,” the Mayo Clinic explains, adding, “The procedure involves taking a healthy blood vessel from your leg, arm or chest and connecting it below and above the blocked arteries in your heart. With a new pathway, blood flow to the heart muscle improves.”

George Segal Has Starred On Many Famous TV Shows

George Segal The Goldbergs
George Segal as Albert “Pops” Solomon on The Goldbergs. [Everett Collection]
You probably recognize George as Albert “Pops” Solomon, the beloved wacky grandpa on The Goldbergs. George has starred on the ABC sitcom that centers around a family in the ’80s since the show’s premiere in 2013 (the eighth season premiered in Oct. 2020). The creator of The Goldbergs, Adam F. Goldberg, even wrote a Twitter tribute in honor of George, which you can read below:

Adam F. Goldberg
The Goldbergs’ creator Adam F. Goldberg wrote this tribute for George after the actor passed away. [Twitter/@adamfgoldberg]
The Goldbergs is not the only well-known show George has starred on. You may recognize him as the fashion magazine publisher, Jack Gallo, on the NBC sitcom Just Shoot Me! which David Spade also starred in. The series aired between 1997-2003; before the turn of the century, George was also a regular on the shows Tracey Takes On… (1997), The Naked Truth (1995-1997), The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest (1996-1997), High Tide (1994) Murphy’s Law (1988-1989) and Take Five (1987).

George Was In Countless Movies

Long before he starred as the beloved grandfather on The Goldbergs, George made a name for himself as a big-time movie star in the ’60s. He made his acting debut in the 1960 TV movie The Closing Door, but George captured critics’ attention in 1965 when he starred on Ship of Fools (which earned an Oscar nomination for Best Picture) and King Rat.

This led to a successful movie career that put George alongside many other A-list stars. He co-starred with John Travolta and Kirstie Alley in the rom-coms Look Who’s Talking (1989) and Look Who’s Talking Now (1993) — you can watch one of George’s scenes with John above!

In what was one of his most notable roles, George played the college professor alongside Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in the 1966 feature Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? This earned George a nomination for Best Actor in a Supporting Role from the Academy Awards. George also teamed up with Glenda Jackson to lead the 1973 rom-com, A Touch of Class.

Before Becoming An Actor, He Was A Banjo Player

George Segal Banjo
George Segal playing the banjo in 1984. [Shutterstock]
Yes, really — banjo playing was George’s calling before he turned to acting as an adult! During his time as a student at Haverford College and Columbia University in the ’50s, George played the string instrument with the Bruno Lynch and His Imperial Jazz Band.

After graduating from Columbia University with a Bachelor of Arts in performing arts and drama, George took his musical talents to the army where he performed with the Corporal Bruno’s Sad Sack Six.

Once George became an established actor, he released three albums between the ’60s-’80s: The Yama Yama ManA Touch of Ragtime and Basin Street.

The Famous Actor Was Married Three Times 

George Segal, Sonia Schultz Greenbaum
George Segal at his Hollywood Walk of Fame star ceremony with his wife, Sonia Schultz Greenbaum, in Feb. 2017. [Shutterstock]
George is survived by his wife, Sonia Schultz Greenbaum, whom he tied the knot with in 1996. Sonia and George were high school sweethearts during their time as students at George High in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, according to a 1999 feature piece in the New York Daily News.

Before rekindling his relationship with Sonia, George had been married two times. The actor married Linda Rogoff, who managed the R&B group The Pointer Sisters, in 1983 and stayed with her up until she died of aplastic anemia in 1996. George’s first wife was film producer Marion Sobel, whom he was married to between 1956-1983 and welcomed two children with: Polly Segal, 55, and Elizabeth Segal, 59.