Route 66’s George Maharis passes at 94

(George Maharis)

Heartthrob George Maharis, a talented actor and timeless icon, who captivated audiences with his charismatic performances died on May 24. He was 94.

Maharis, known for his notable contributions to film and television, left an indelible mark on the entertainment industry. As we bid farewell to this beloved star, we reflect on his extraordinary career and the lasting legacy he leaves behind.

Maharis was born on September 1, 1928, in Astoria, New York. Raised in a Greek-American family, he displayed an early interest in the arts and pursued his passion for acting. After studying at the Actors Studio, Maharis made his stage debut in the 1952 production of The Petrified Forest on Broadway.

He gained widespread recognition and acclaim for his breakout role as Buz Murdock in the popular television series Route 66. The show, which aired from 1960 to 1964, followed the adventures of two friends as they traveled across the United States. Maharis’ magnetic presence and undeniable talent endeared him to audiences, earning him a devoted following.


Following the success of Route 66, Maharis transitioned to the silver screen, starring in a number of notable films. He appeared alongside acting legends such as Kirk Douglas in The Guns of Navarone (1961) and Dean Martin in The Victors (1963). Maharis showcased his versatility as an actor, tackling a range of roles that showcased his depth and skill.

Beyond his film work, Maharis continued to make appearances on television, guest-starring on popular shows like The Twilight Zone, Mission: Impossible, and Columbo. He also embarked on a successful music career, releasing albums that showcased his vocal talent and garnered a loyal fan base.

Maharis will be remembered as a trailblazer in the entertainment industry, known for his immense talent and captivating on-screen presence. His role in Route 66 solidified his place as a television icon, paving the way for future road trip-themed series. Maharis’ contributions to film and television continue to inspire aspiring actors and entertain audiences around the world.

Beyond his acting endeavors, Maharis was a compassionate individual who dedicated himself to various philanthropic causes. He actively supported organizations focused on medical research, children’s welfare, and the fight against cancer. His commitment to giving back to the community further exemplified his kind-hearted nature and generosity.

Maharis leaves behind a legacy that will forever be cherished by fans, colleagues, and the entertainment industry as a whole. His talent, charm, and ability to captivate audiences will be remembered for generations to come. Though he may no longer grace our screens, his spirit lives on through his body of work, reminding us of the lasting impact a single individual can have.

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