George Grizzard
Grizzard and Patricia Barry in the episode "The Chaser" of the television series The Twilight Zone
George Cooper Grizzard Jr.

(1928-04-01)April 1, 1928
Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, U.S.
DiedOctober 2, 2007(2007-10-02) (aged 79)
Manhattan, New York City, U.S.
EducationUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Years active1955–2006
PartnerWilliam Tynan

George Cooper Grizzard Jr. (April 1, 1928 – October 2, 2007) was an American stage, television, and film actor.[1] He was the recipient of a Grammy Award, a Primetime Emmy Award and a Tony Award, among other accolades.

Life and career

Grizzard and Jane Fonda in a 1961 presentation of W. Somerset Maugham's A String of Beads

Grizzard was raised in Washington, DC, and attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, returning to Washington after graduation to work in advertising. He began his acting career at Washington's Arena Stage.[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).[1]

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, which won him a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album along with his castmates. He also appeared in 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. 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.[1]

Beginning in 1963, Grizzard was a member of the original company of the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, which also included Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn. He played the title role in the Guthrie's inaugural production of Hamlet alongside Tandy, and featured in many productions from the Guthrie's first two seasons, including roles in Henry V, Three Sisters, and Saint Joan.

Grizzard guest-starred several times during the 1990s on the NBC television drama Law & Order as defense attorney Arthur Gold. He also portrayed President John Adams in the Emmy Award winning PBS miniseries The Adams Chronicles, produced by WNET. 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.[1][3]

He was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame in 2002.[4]


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. Grizzard had kept his homosexuality private during his life.[1]



Year Title Role Notes
1960 From the Terrace Alexander "Lex" Porter
1962 Advise and Consent Senator Fred Van Ackerman
1967 Warning Shot Walt Cody
1971 Happy Birthday, Wanda June Dr. Norbert Woodley
1978 Comes a Horseman Neil Atkinson
1979 Firepower Leo Gelhorn
1980 Seems Like Old Times Governor
1982 Wrong is Right President Bedford Forrest "Frosty" Lockwood
1984 Bachelor Party Ed Thompson
2000 Wonder Boys Fred Leer
2000 Small Time Crooks George Blint
2006 Flags of Our Fathers Older John Bradley Final film role


Year Title Role Notes
1956-62 Alfred Hitchcock Presents Ted Lambert / Hubert Winter / Alan Chatterton Season 2 Episode 2: "Fog Closing In" as Ted Lambert (1956)

Season 5 Episode 22: "Across the Threshold" as Hubert Winter (1960)

Season 7 Episode 27: "Act of Faith" as Alan Chatterton (1962)

1960 The Millionaire Jerry Mitchell Episode: "The Story of Jerry Mitchell"
1960 Thriller Merle Jenkins
1960-1963 The Twilight Zone Roger Shackleforth / Alan Talbot / Walter Ryder, Jr. Episodes: "The Chaser" and "In His Image"
1963 Espionage Lieutenant Bridger Episode: "Festival of Pawns"
1963 Ben Casey Jonas King
1964 Dr. Kildare Douglas Martin
1965 Rawhide Captain George Ballinger
1971 Marcus Welby, MD George Adams Episode: "A Portrait of Debbie"
1974 The Stranger Within David Collins Television movie
1975 Attack on Terror: The FBI vs. the Ku Klux Klan Attorney Clay Television movie
1975 The Lives of Jenny Dolan Ralph Stantlow Television movie
1976 The Adams Chronicles John Adams Television miniseries
Nominated – Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series (1977)
1978 Hawaii 5-0 Al Marsh Episode: "Head to Head"
1980 The Oldest Living Graduate Floyd Kincaid Television movie
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie (1981)
1982 American Playhouse Mr. Wooster Episode: "The Shady Hill Kidnapping"
1984 Trapper John, MD Vernon Shaw Episode: "Play Your Hunch"
1985 Spenser: For Hire Frank Silverman Episode: "The Choice"
1985 The Cosby Show Mr. Barker Episode: "Clair's Toe"
1985–1988 Murder, She Wrote Edmund Hall / Prof. Tyler Stoneham / Dr. Aubrey Benton 3 episodes
1986 The Deliberate Stranger Richard Larsen Television movie
1989 The Golden Girls Jamie Devereaux Episode: "That Old Feeling"
1990 Caroline? Paul Carmichael Television movie
1990 The Golden Girls George Devereaux Episode: "Mrs. George Devereaux"
1990 An Enemy of the People Mayor Peter Stockman Television movie
1991 Iran: Days of Crisis President Jimmy Carter Television movie
1992–2000 Law & Order Arthur Gold 6 episodes
1993 American Experience John W. Davis Episode: "Simple Justice"
1993 Alex Haley's Queen Mr. Cherry Television movie
1993 Not in the Family Malcolm Worth Television movie
1994 Scarlett Henry Hamilton Television miniseries
Sequel to Gone With the Wind
1994 The 5 Mrs. Buchanans Frank Collins Episode: "Emma in Love"
1997 Sisters and Other Strangers Ben Strickland Television movie
1997–1998 3rd Rock from the Sun George Albright Episodes: "Dick-In-Law" and "My Daddy's Little Girl"
1998 Touched by an Angel Charley Nott Episode: "An Angel on the Roof"
2006 Haskett's Chance Peyton Haskett Television movie


  1. ^ a b c d e Berkvist, Robert (3 October 2007). "George Grizzard, Actor Noted for Albee Roles, Dies at 79". The New York Times.
  2. ^ Bryer, Jackson R.; Davison, Richard Allan (2001). The Actor's Art: Conversations with Contemporary American Stage Performers. Rutgers University Press. pp. 70-87. ISBN 978-0-8135-2873-1.
  3. ^ Stewart, Jocelyn Y. (October 4, 2007). "George Grizzard, 79; versatile stage, TV and film actor originated role of Nick in 'Virginia Woolf'". Los Angeles Times.
  4. ^ Ridge, Richard. The Theatre Hall of Fame Awards Broadway Beat. Archived November 17, 2006, at the Wayback Machine