Beloved Actor George Maharis, Known for ‘Route 66’ and ‘Fantasy Island,’ Passes Away at 94

Death is an inevitable and sorrowful aspect of life that affects us all. Unfortunately, this month has brought the loss of several beloved celebrities, and now we mourn the devastating news of the passing of the cherished actor George Maharis.

George Maharis gained widespread recognition for his memorable roles in Route 66 and Fantasy Island, captivating the hearts of millions around the globe with his striking appearance and irresistible charm.

During his later years, George found solace in the companionship of his long-time friend, Marc Bahan, who became his devoted caretaker. It was through a heartfelt Facebook post that Bahan announced the departure of his dear friend:

“On Wednesday, May 25, we bid farewell to George Maharis. Renowned for his stardom in Route 66, stage productions, singing, artistic endeavors, and most importantly, for being a genuinely remarkable person who would go to great lengths to assist anyone in need. My dear friend, your absence leaves an immense void in our lives. You will be deeply missed.”

In the iconic TV series Route 66, Maharis portrayed the beloved character Buz Murdock, a performance that propelled him into the spotlight. He graced the show for its initial three seasons, earning him a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Series. George was born and raised in Astoria, Queens, and prior to embarking on his entertainment career, he served in the U.S. Marines for 18 months. His first breakthrough in the industry occurred in 1958 when he secured a role in Jean Genet’s off-Broadway play titled Deathwatch.

Shortly after, in 1960, he made his silver screen debut as a freedom fighter in the film Exodus. Maharis’ television career flourished when he joined the cast of the soap opera Search for Tomorrow, which eventually led to his role in Naked City. Route 66 emerged as a spin-off from Naked City and propelled Maharis’ career to new heights. Regrettably, health issues forced him to depart from the CBS production in 1962, as he was hospitalized with hepatitis at the time.

Among Maharis’ other notable acting credits are Quick Before It Melts (1964), Sylvia (1965), A Covenant with Death (1967), and The Happening (1967).

In the 1970s, the actor experienced a television resurgence, gracing the screens in The Most Deadly Game, Mission: Impossible, and Fantasy Island.

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