George Maharis Obituary, Death – George Maharis, a stage-trained actor with rough-hewn good looks who became an icon to American youth in the 1960s as he travelled the country in the hit television series “Route 66,” has died. Maharis’ friend and carer Marc Bahan announced his death on Facebook on Wednesday. According to Bahan, who originally reported Maharis’ death, he died at his home in Beverly Hills, California, after contracting hepatitis. He was 94.
On “Route 66,” Maharis portrayed Buz Murdock, a grizzled Hell’s Kitchen survivor. Martin Milner, who died in 2015, played Tod Stiles, a wealthy young man left with nothing but a new Corvette after his father’s death. The two resolved to take “The Mother Road,” as author John Steinbeck had dubbed it. Every week featured a fresh adventure in a different place, and viewers tuned in in droves.
“Route 66” was an unusual series at the time that was shot on location, with each episode travelling to a new town or city. Future stars such as Robert Redford, James Caan, Robert Duvall, and Alan Alda appeared as guests in early roles. The legendary highway was as much a part of the event as Maharis and Milner. It was formerly unbroken from Chicago to the Pacific Ocean and was seen as a driving force behind the country’s twentieth-century westward expansion. It has since been bypassed in favor of larger, faster interstates.
The song “Route 66” was inspired by Jack Kerouac’s novel “On the Road,” and it created its own popular song, an instrumental composed by Nelson Riddle. The more well-known song, “(Get Your Kicks On) Route 66,” was unrelated to the series. Maharis quit the show after the third season — it would go on for another without him — and never gained the same level of recognition again.
In director Quentin Tarantino’s 2019 film “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” fictional actor Rick Dalton, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, says he was considered for the Steve McQueen role in “The Great Escape” along with three Georges: “Peppard, Maharis, and Chakiris.” Maharis, a native New Yorker and one of seven children born to Greek immigrants, grew up in Hell’s Kitchen. His parents owned a profitable restaurant, and they wanted George to join them.
In a 2007 interview, he claimed, “Growing up in Hell’s Kitchen, at least for me, was all about ‘I’m not gonna stay here,'” “Life is all about the journey, about getting there.” I had to leave.” He wanted to be a singer but injured his vocal cords, so he became an actor. He began appearing in off-Broadway plays after studying with Lee Strasberg and Sanford Meisner at the Actors Studio.
Excellent reviews for his performance in Edward Albee’s play “Zoo Story,” as well as performances on the television drama “Naked City,” drew attention. After appearing in “Exodus” and a few other films, he landed “Route 66.” After leaving the show, Maharis went on to star in films such as “Quick Before It Melts,” “The Satan Bug,” and “Sylvia.” “A Covenant with Death,” “The Happening,” “The Desperadoes,” and “Land Raiders” are among the films.