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George Maharis
Born September 1, 1928 (1928-09-01) (age 81)
Astoria, New York
Occupation actor, singer, artist
Years active 1953-1993

George Maharis (born September 1, 1928 in Astoria, New York) is an American actor best known for his role as Buz Murdock in first three seasons of the TV series Route 66. Maharis also recorded numerous pop music albums at the height of his fame, and later starred in the short-lived TV series The Most Deadly Game.

Contents

Early years

Maharis was one of seven children born to Greek immigrants in Astoria, Queens.[1] Original spelling Maharias. Although his father was in the restaurant business, George had early ambitions to be a professional singer. After injuring his vocal cords through overuse, however, he switched to acting.

He studied at the Actor's Studio and appeared in Off-Broadway productions of Jean Genet's Deathwatch and Edward Albee's The Zoo Story. Soon he was on television as well, in such showcases as Studio One, Kraft Television Theater, Goodyear Television Playhouse, Stirling Silliphant's Naked City and Otto Preminger's Exodus. Maharis also was featured on the soap opera Search for Tomorrow as Bud Gardner, one of Joanne Gardner's relatives who married Janet Bergman Collins.

Route 66

In 1960, Maharis shot to stardom with his successful turn as Buz Murdock in the popular TV series Route 66, which co-starred Martin Milner as formerly rich, now orphaned Tod Stiles. The show featured the two rebel-hunks traveling throughout the United States along Route 66 (and elsewhere) in a new Corvette that belonged to Milner's character. The series featured directors as acclaimed as Sam Peckinpah and Arthur Hiller, as well as guest stars as renowned as Robert Redford, Robert Duvall, Buster Keaton, Ethel Waters and Martin Sheen. Even in such company, Maharis' own acting skills did not go unnoticed, as he received an Emmy nomination in 1962 for his continuing performance as Buz.

Maharis departed without completing his third season on the series. His participation that season had been spotty due to health problems, including two bouts of infectious hepatitis beginning in April 1962.[2] Maharis insisted that he left Route 66 entirely for health reasons, due to the long hours and grueling conditions he frequently experienced while shooting episodes on location. "I have to protect my future," Maharis said in a 1963 interview. "If I keep going at the present pace, I'm a fool. Even if you have $4,000,000 in the bank, you can't buy another liver."[3] This interpretation of events was disputed by series producers Stirling Silliphant and Herbert B. Leonard, who believed that the health issue camouflaged Maharis' desire to break his contract and make movies. Another claim was that there were conflicts between Milner and Maharis over acting styles, but this appears to have been less of an issue than was reported at the time.[3] After Maharis' departure, the show's appeal declined. Glenn Corbett stepped in as Milner's new sidekick on the road, Linc Case, but a year later, Route 66 was canceled.

Later career

For Maharis, a string of unsuccessful films followed, including Quick, Before It Melts (1964), The Satan Bug and Sylvia (both 1965), A Covenant With Death and The Happening (both 1967) and The Desperados (1969). Returning to series television in 1970, Maharis starred as criminologist Jonathan Croft in the ABC adventure series The Most Deadly Game, co-starring Ralph Bellamy as Mr. Arcane. The series lasted twelve episodes, ending in January 1971. However, Maharis remained a popular sex symbol and in July 1973 posed nude for Playgirl's second issue.

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Maharis guest-starred in dozens of hit television series, including Mission Impossible, Fantasy Island, Kojak, McMillan and Wife, Barnaby Jones, Police Story, Switch, Night Gallery and The Bionic Woman as well as Murder She Wrote in 1990. His most significant film role of this era is probably as Count Machelli, King Cromwell's War Chancellor (who is not what he seems) in The Sword and the Sorcerer (1982). In the 1980s he also frequently starred in Las Vegas dinner theater. In 1993 he performed in his, to date, final film, Doppelganger. Maharis is now reported to be "fully retired."

Filmmaker Mercedes Maharis, maker of the controversial 2005 documentary Cochise County USA - Cries From The Border, is married to Maharis's brother Robert.

Arrest and scandal

On November 21, 1974, Maharis was arrested and charged with Commission of a Lewd Act after being caught having sex with Perfecto Telles, a 33-year old hairdresser, in the men's room of a Los Angeles gas station.[4] Police said he was booked on a "sex perversion charge" and released on $500 bail. Maharis had previously been arrested on December 15, 1967, by a vice officer who said the actor had made a pass at him in the men's room of a Hollywood restaurant; that charge had been dropped when Maharis pleaded guilty to one count of disturbing the peace and paid a $50 fine.[5]

Filmography

  • Doppelganger (1993) - Mike Wallace
  • Murder, She Wrote - Alex Burton ... (1990)
  • Superboy - Mr. McAlister (1989)
  • The Master - Garrett (1984)
  • Matt Houston - Dr. Charles Brockway (1984)
  • The Sword and the Sorcerer (1982) - Machelli: Cromwell War Chancellor
  • Fantasy Island - Dr. Hal Workman ... (1979-1982)
  • Crash (1978) (TV) - Evan Walsh
  • Logan's Run - Gavin (1978)
  • Return to Fantasy Island (1978) (TV) - Benson
  • Switch - Clouston (1977)
  • The Feather and Father Gang - Sherwin (1977)
  • Police Story - Hank Delany ... (1973-1977)
  • Kojak - Ringer (1977)
  • SST: Death Flight (1977) (TV) - Les Phillips
  • The Bionic Woman - Sgt. Bob Welton (1976)
  • Gibbsville (1976)
  • Look What's Happened to Rosemary's Baby (1976) (TV) - Guy Woodhouse
  • Bert D'AngeloSuperstar - Lee Mitchell (1976)
  • Jigsaw John (1976)
  • Good Heavens - Gary Lawrence (1976)
  • Rich Man, Poor Man (1976) (mini) TV Series - Joey Quales
  • Ellery Queen - Dr. Tony Bender (1976)
  • Murder on Flight 502 (1975) (TV) - Robert Davenport
  • Nakia (1974)
  • McMillan & Wife - Walter Webley (1974)
  • Death in Space (1974) (TV)
  • Thriller - Mark Fields (1974)
  • The Snoop Sisters - Robert Duware (1974)
  • Marcus Welby, M.D. (1974)
  • Shaft - Wally Doyle (1974)
  • Come Die with Me (1974) - Walter Burr
  • Wide World Mystery - Walter (1974)
  • Barnaby Jones - Warren Davis (1973)
  • Mission: Impossible - Thomas Bachman (1973)
  • The Victim (1972) (TV) - Ben Chapel
  • Cannon - Paul Stubber (1972)
  • Medical Center - Evan Kenbrook (1971)
  • Cade's County - Deek Minty (1971)
  • Night Gallery - Peter Lacland (1971)
  • The Most Deadly Game (1970) TV Series - Jonathan Croft (unknown episodes)
  • Último día de la guerra, El (1970) - Sgt. Chips Slater
  • Journey to the Unknown - Drake (1970)
  • The Monk (1969) (TV) - Gus Monk
  • Land Raiders (1969) - Paul Cardenas
  • The Desperados (1969) - Jacob Galt
  • Escape to Mindanao (1968) (TV) - Joe Walden
  • The Danny Thomas Hour - Phil Pearson (1967)
  • The Happening (1967) - Taurus
  • A Covenant with Death (1967) - Ben Lewis
  • Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre - Michael Kolinos ... (1966)
  • A Small Rebellion (1966) (TV) - Michael Kolinos
  • Hullabaloo (1965)
  • The Satan Bug (1965) - Lee Barrett
  • Sylvia (1965) - Alan Macklin
  • Quick Before It Melts (1964) - Peter Santelli
  • Route 66 - Buz Murdock (1960-1963)
  • Search for Tomorrow (1951) TV Series - Bud Gardner (1960-1961)
  • Splendor in the Grass (1961) - uncredited
  • Exodus (1960) - Yaov
  • Naked City - Johnny Gary ... (1959-1960)
  • Alcoa Theatre - Johnny Cesare (1960)
  • Brenner (1959)
  • The Mugger (1958) - Nicholas Grecco
  • Goodyear Television Playhouse (1957)
  • The Philco Television Playhouse - Dancer at the Dance Club (1953)
  • Marty (1953) (TV) (uncredited) - Man at Dance Hall

Art and music

Maharis released several LPs and numerous singles through Epic Records earlier in his career. After this period, he continued to perform in nightclubs, and pursued a secondary career as an impressionist painter. As of 2008, Maharis was still painting, while splitting his time between New York and Beverly Hills.[6]

Discography

Albums

US LPs (complete list)

  • 1962 George Maharis Sings! Epic LN 24001/BN 26001
  • 1962 Portrait in Music Epic LN 24021/BN 26021
  • 1963 Just Turn Me Loose! Epic LN 24037/BN 26037
  • 1963 Where Can You Go For a Broken Heart? Epic LN 24064/BN 26064
  • 1964 Make Love to Me Epic LN 24079/BN 26079
  • 1964 Tonight You Belong to Me Epic LN 24111/BN 26111
  • 1966 New Route: George Maharis Epic LN 24191/BN 26191

US CD Reissues

  • 1995 George Maharis & John Davidson (Songs from George Maharis Sings!) Sony 28950
  • 2000 George Maharis Sings!/Portrait in Music (2 LPs on 1 CD) Collectibles ASIN B00004TRWR

Singles

US 45 RPM (incomplete list)

  • 1962 "After the Lights Go Down Low" ~ "Teach Me Tonight" Epic 5-9504
  • 1962 "They Knew About You" ~ "Love Me as I Love You" Epic 5-9522
  • 1962 "I'll Never Smile Again" ~ "Can't Help Falling In Love" Epic 5-9545
  • 1962 "(Get Your Kicks On) Route 66" ~ "You Must Have Been A Beautiful Baby" Epic 3-9548
  • 1962 "Baby Has Gone Bye Bye" ~ "After One Kiss" Epic 5-9555
  • 1963 "Don’t Fence Me In" ~ "Alright, Okay, You Win" Epic 5-9569
  • 1963 "Where Can You Go (For a Broken Heart)" ~ "Kiss Me" Epic 5-9600
  • 1963 That’s How It Goes" ~ "It Isn’t There" Epic 5-9613
  • 1963 "It’s a Sin to Tell a Lie" ~ "Sara Darling" Epic 5-9653
  • 1964 "Tonight You Belong to Me" ~ "The Object of My Affection" Epic 5-9696
  • 1965 "I’m Coming Back for You" ~ "Lonely People Do Foolish Things" Epic 5-9753
  • 1965 "Where Does Happiness Go" ~ "More I Cannot Do" Epic 5-9772
  • 1965 "You Always Hurt the One You Love" ~ "Quien Sabe? (Who Knows? Who Knows?)" Epic 5-9844
  • 1965 "A World Without Sunshine" ~ "Ivy" Epic 5-9858

US 45 RPM Reissues (incomplete list)

  • "Teach Me Tonight" ~ "Baby Has Gone Bye Bye" (At least one reissue on Memory Lane)

References

  1. ^ "Stars of TV's 'Route 66' working on opposite coasts.", Albuquerque Journal, November 16, 2003. Accessed November 30, 2007. "George Maharis was born Sept. 1, 1928, in Astoria, N.Y."
  2. ^ "George Is Back on the Road", "Television" Supplement to Australian Women's Weekly, August 8, 1962, http://www.geocities.com/martin_milner/tvaww.html  
  3. ^ a b "They Come to Blows: Route 66", Movie Screen Yearbook 1963, August 8, 1962, http://www.geocities.com/martin_milner/yearbook63.html  
  4. ^ Article on EBSCOHost
  5. ^ Article on Queer Music Heritage web site
  6. ^ Rahner, Mark (March 5), "George Maharis, "Route 66" and that Corvette are back — on DVD", The Seattle Times, http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/television/2004259775_maharis05.html  

External links


George Maharis
Born September 1, 1928 (1928-09-01) (age 82)
Astoria, New York
Occupation actor, singer, artist
Years active 1953-1993

George Maharis (born September 1, 1928 in Astoria, New York) is an American actor who portrayed Buz Murdock in the first three seasons of the TV series Route 66. Maharis also recorded numerous pop music albums at the height of his fame, and later starred in the short-lived TV series The Most Deadly Game.

Contents

Early years

Maharis was one of seven children born to Greek immigrants in Astoria, Queens.[1] Original spelling Mahairas. Although his father was in the restaurant business, George had early ambitions to be a professional singer. After injuring his vocal cords through overuse, however, he switched to acting.

He studied at the Actor's Studio and appeared in Off-Broadway productions of Jean Genet's Deathwatch and Edward Albee's The Zoo Story. Soon he was on television as well, in such showcases as Studio One, Kraft Television Theater, Goodyear Television Playhouse, Stirling Silliphant's Naked City and Otto Preminger's Exodus. Maharis also was featured on the soap opera Search for Tomorrow as Bud Gardner, one of Joanne Gardner's relatives who married Janet Bergman Collins.

Route 66

In 1960, Maharis shot to stardom with his successful turn as Buz Murdock in the popular TV series Route 66, which co-starred Martin Milner as formerly rich, now orphaned Tod Stiles. The show featured the two rebel-hunks traveling throughout the United States along Route 66 (and elsewhere) in a new Corvette that belonged to Milner's character. The series featured directors as acclaimed as Sam Peckinpah and Arthur Hiller, as well as guest stars as renowned as Robert Redford, Robert Duvall, Buster Keaton, Ethel Waters and Martin Sheen. Even in such company, Maharis' own acting skills did not go unnoticed, as he received an Emmy nomination in 1962 for his continuing performance as Buz.

Maharis departed without completing his third season on the series. His participation that season had been spotty due to health problems, including two bouts of infectious hepatitis beginning in April 1962.[2] Maharis insisted that he left Route 66 entirely for health reasons, due to the long hours and grueling conditions he frequently experienced while shooting episodes on location. "I have to protect my future," Maharis said in a 1963 interview. "If I keep going at the present pace, I'm a fool. Even if you have $4,000,000 in the bank, you can't buy another liver."[3] This interpretation of events was disputed by series producers Stirling Silliphant and Herbert B. Leonard, who believed that the health issue camouflaged Maharis' desire to break his contract and make movies. Another claim was that there were conflicts between Milner and Maharis over acting styles, but this appears to have been less of an issue than was reported at the time.[3] After Maharis' departure, the show's appeal declined. Glenn Corbett stepped in as Milner's new sidekick on the road, Linc Case, but a year later, Route 66 was canceled.

Later career

For Maharis, a string of unsuccessful films followed, including Quick, Before It Melts (1964), The Satan Bug and Sylvia (both 1965), A Covenant With Death and The Happening (both 1967) and The Desperados (1969). Returning to series television in 1970, Maharis starred as criminologist Jonathan Croft in the ABC adventure series The Most Deadly Game, co-starring Ralph Bellamy as Mr. Arcane. The series lasted twelve episodes, ending in January 1971. However, Maharis remained a popular sex symbol and in July 1973 posed nude for Playgirl's second issue.

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Maharis guest-starred in dozens of hit television series, including Mission: Impossible, Fantasy Island, Kojak, McMillan & Wife, Barnaby Jones, Police Story, Switch, Cannon, Night Gallery and The Bionic Woman as well as Murder, She Wrote in 1990. His most significant film role of this era is probably as Count Machelli, King Cromwell's War Chancellor in The Sword and the Sorcerer (1982). In the 1980s, he also frequently starred in Las Vegas dinner theater. In 1993, he performed in Doppelganger. Maharis is now reported to be "fully retired."

Filmmaker Mercedes Maharis, maker of the controversial 2005 documentary Cochise County USA - Cries From The Border, is married to Maharis's brother Robert.

Arrest and scandal

On November 21, 1974, Maharis was arrested and charged with Commission of a Lewd Act after being caught having sex with Perfecto Telles, a 33-year old hairdresser, in the men's room of a Los Angeles gas station.[4] Police said he was booked on a "sex perversion charge" and released on $500 bail. Maharis had previously been arrested on December 15, 1967, by a vice officer who said the actor had made a pass at him in the men's room of a Hollywood restaurant; that charge had been dropped when Maharis pleaded guilty to one count of disturbing the peace and paid a $50 fine.[5]

Filmography

  • Doppelganger (1993) - Mike Wallace
  • Murder, She Wrote - Alex Burton ... (1990)
  • Superboy - Mr. McAlister (1989)
  • The Master - Garrett (1984)
  • Matt Houston - Dr. Charles Brockway (1984)
  • The Sword and the Sorcerer (1982) - Machelli: Cromwell War Chancellor
  • Fantasy Island - Dr. Hal Workman ... (1979–1982)
  • Crash (1978) (TV) - Evan Walsh
  • Logan's Run - Gavin (1978)
  • Return to Fantasy Island (1978) (TV) - Benson
  • Switch - Clouston (1977)
  • The Feather and Father Gang - Sherwin (1977)
  • Police Story - Hank Delany ... (1973–1977)
  • Kojak - Ringer (1977)
  • SST: Death Flight (1977) (TV) - Les Phillips
  • The Bionic Woman - Sgt. Bob Welton (1976)
  • Gibbsville (1976)
  • Look What's Happened to Rosemary's Baby (1976) (TV) - Guy Woodhouse
  • Bert D'AngeloSuperstar - Lee Mitchell (1976)
  • Jigsaw John (1976)
  • Good Heavens - Gary Lawrence (1976)
  • Rich Man, Poor Man (1976) (mini) TV Series - Joey Quales
  • Ellery Queen - Dr. Tony Bender (1976)
  • Murder on Flight 502 (1975) (TV) - Robert Davenport
  • Nakia (1974)
  • McMillan & Wife - Walter Webley (1974)
  • Death in Space (1974) (TV)
  • Thriller - Mark Fields (1974)
  • The Snoop Sisters - Robert Duware (1974)
  • Marcus Welby, M.D. (1974)
  • Shaft - Wally Doyle (1974)
  • Come Die with Me (1974) - Walter Burr
  • Wide World Mystery - Walter (1974)
  • Barnaby Jones - Warren Davis (1973)

  • Mission: Impossible - Thomas Bachman (1973)
  • The Victim (1972) (TV) - Ben Chapel
  • Cannon - Paul Stubber (1972)
  • Medical Center - Evan Kenbrook (1971)
  • Cade's County - Deek Minty (1971)
  • Night Gallery - Peter Lacland (1971)
  • The Most Deadly Game (1970) TV Series - Jonathan Croft (unknown episodes)
  • Último día de la guerra, El (1970) - Sgt. Chips Slater
  • Journey to the Unknown - Drake (1970)
  • The Monk (1969) (TV) - Gus Monk
  • Land Raiders (1969) - Paul Cardenas
  • The Desperados (1969) - Jacob Galt
  • Escape to Mindanao (1968) (TV) - Joe Walden
  • The Danny Thomas Hour - Phil Pearson (1967)
  • The Happening (1967) - Taurus
  • A Covenant with Death (1967) - Ben Lewis
  • Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre - Michael Kolinos ... (1966)
  • A Small Rebellion (1966) (TV) - Michael Kolinos
  • Hullabaloo (1965)
  • The Satan Bug (1965) - Lee Barrett
  • Sylvia (1965) - Alan Macklin
  • Quick Before It Melts (1964) - Peter Santelli
  • Route 66 - Buz Murdock (1960–1963)
  • Search for Tomorrow (1951) TV Series - Bud Gardner (1960–1961)
  • Splendor in the Grass (1961) - uncredited
  • Exodus (1960) - Yaov
  • Naked City - Johnny Gary ... (1959–1960)
  • Alcoa Theatre - Johnny Cesare (1960)
  • Brenner (1959)
  • The Mugger (1958) - Nicholas Grecco
  • Goodyear Television Playhouse (1957)
  • The Philco Television Playhouse - Dancer at the Dance Club (1953)
  • Marty (1953) (TV) (uncredited) - Man at Dance Hall

Art and music

Maharis released several LPs and numerous singles through Epic Records earlier in his career. After this period, he continued to perform in nightclubs, and pursued a secondary career as an impressionist painter. As of 2008, Maharis was still painting, while splitting his time between New York and Beverly Hills.[6]

Discography

Albums

US LPs (complete list)

  • 1962 George Maharis Sings! Epic LN 24001/BN 26001
  • 1962 Portrait in Music Epic LN 24021/BN 26021
  • 1963 Just Turn Me Loose! Epic LN 24037/BN 26037
  • 1963 Where Can You Go For a Broken Heart? Epic LN 24064/BN 26064
  • 1964 Make Love to Me Epic LN 24079/BN 26079
  • 1964 Tonight You Belong to Me Epic LN 24111/BN 26111
  • 1966 New Route: George Maharis Epic LN 24191/BN 26191

US CD Reissues

  • 1995 George Maharis & John Davidson (Songs from George Maharis Sings!) Sony 28950
  • 2000 George Maharis Sings!/Portrait in Music (2 LPs on 1 CD) Collectibles ASIN B00004TRWR

Singles

US 45 RPM (incomplete list)

  • 1962 "After the Lights Go Down Low" ~ "Teach Me Tonight" Epic 5-9504
  • 1962 "They Knew About You" ~ "Love Me as I Love You" Epic 5-9522
  • 1962 "I'll Never Smile Again" ~ "Can't Help Falling In Love" Epic 5-9545
  • 1962 "(Get Your Kicks On) Route 66" ~ "You Must Have Been A Beautiful Baby" Epic 3-9548
  • 1962 "Baby Has Gone Bye Bye" ~ "After One Kiss" Epic 5-9555
  • 1963 "Don’t Fence Me In" ~ "Alright, Okay, You Win" Epic 5-9569
  • 1963 "Where Can You Go (For a Broken Heart)" ~ "Kiss Me" Epic 5-9600
  • 1963 That’s How It Goes" ~ "It Isn’t There" Epic 5-9613
  • 1963 "It’s a Sin to Tell a Lie" ~ "Sara Darling" Epic 5-9653
  • 1964 "Tonight You Belong to Me" ~ "The Object of My Affection" Epic 5-9696
  • 1965 "I’m Coming Back for You" ~ "Lonely People Do Foolish Things" Epic 5-9753
  • 1965 "Where Does Happiness Go" ~ "More I Cannot Do" Epic 5-9772
  • 1965 "You Always Hurt the One You Love" ~ "Quien Sabe? (Who Knows? Who Knows?)" Epic 5-9844
  • 1965 "A World Without Sunshine" ~ "Ivy" Epic 5-9858

US 45 RPM Reissues (incomplete list)

  • "Teach Me Tonight" ~ "Baby Has Gone Bye Bye" (At least one reissue on Memory Lane)

References

External links








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