George Segal biography

George Segal

Date of Birth: February 13, 1934

There's always been something a little odd about this New York native. It's as if he's always playing a little off key so that you can recognize the song but the backbeat is off, or the melody is not quite right, or the piano is playing behind the beat.

The musical metaphors are apt since as a kid Segal was a conductor and vocalist with Bruno Lynch and his Imperial Jazz Band. After graduating from college, he also put food on the table as a jazz musician -- as well as janitor and usher.

And it was to music he returned in the '80s when his film career was going nowhere, even performing at Carnegie Hall in 1981 with the Beverly Hills Unlisted Jazz Band.

But we're concerned with Segal the film actor here and it's as an actor that his career has been very uneven.

Barely five years into his film career, in 1966, Segal was nominated for an Oscar for his work in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Before that he was very good in King Rat, Ship of Fools and The Longest Day. But after his Oscar nomination, his career seemed to go nowhere until quite recently when he turned in good performances in Flirting With Disaster and The Cable Guy. Perhaps Segal summed it up best for himself when he said: "I have a dread of being considered bland, but I've had to reconcile myself to the fact that that's what I am."

George Segal Photo