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Adagio Teas
   Features  >  LATEST NEW YORK NEWS


By David Lefkowitz
Published October 3 2007

  George Grizzard

In 1955, George Grizzard made his Broadway debut opposite Paul Newman, Karl Malden and Mary Orr in The Desperate Hours. Fifty years later, he starred opposite Frances Sternhagen in a revival of Edward Albee's Seascape. In between, he appeared in nearly two dozen other Broadway productions while also forging a career in film and television.

Alas, there won't be any more, for Grizzard has died of lung cancer at age 79.

Perhaps his closest work association was with Albee, as Grizzard starred in the original 1962 staging of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and won a Tony Award for his turn in A Delicate Balance in 1996. Other playwrights graced by Grizzard's presence include Neil Simon (1976's California Suite), Arthur Miller (The Creation of the World and Other Business), Noel Coward (the 1968 revue Noel Coward's Sweet Potato ), Tennessee Williams (a 1965 The Glass Menagerie opposite Maureen Stapleton), and Kaufman & Ferber (a 1975 revival of The Royal Family). He was also Tony nominated for 1958's The Disenchanted and 1961's Big Fish, Little Fish.

As reported by the New York Times, perhaps Grizzard's gutsiest move as an actor was leaving the celebrated Virginia Woolf? and Broadway for two years to get more hands-on training at the Guthrie Theater in Minnesota. This, after the University of North Carolina graduate had already studied with Sanford Meisner.

Though never a film star, Grizzard did work steadily in television and received an Emmy for The Oldest Living Graduate and an Emmy nomination for The Adams Chronicles.

Grizzard's last New York performance was in Paul Rudnick's off-Broadway comedy, Regrets Only.



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