LOS ANGELES — Veteran film and television actor George Segal, known most recently to fans as the feisty grandfather on the ABC comedy series “The Goldbergs,” received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame Feb. 14. The recognition came one day after his 83rd birthday.
“You know, I was 83 yesterday, so this is some birthday party,” he said to cheers from friends and fans who gathered for the ceremony in front of the Pacific Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard. He gestured to the friends and co-workers in the crowd — including some cast members of “The Goldbergs” — pointing out “all these people I love, all these people … that’s a lot of people to love, but there you go.”
He said when he was 8 years old he always said he wanted to be a fireman, but he set his sights on acting when he was taken to a theater and saw the film “This Gun for Hire,” starring Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake, who was “really hot from an 8-year-old perspective.”
“Anyway, at that time, at 8 years old, I understood that that was a job that Alan Ladd had and that he went in every day just like my father went in every day to New York for his job,” Segal said. “And I thought to myself, and I knew it was only a dream, I wanted a job just like Alan Ladd had.”
Segal has been performing since 1944, when, as a 10-year-old, he started a magic act. Since those humble beginnings, the veteran stage, film and television actor has amassed a resume that runs the gamut from lighthearted comedies to heart-wrenching dramas, earning him two Golden Globe awards and an Academy Award nomination.
In addition to his work on “The Goldbergs,” fans also recognize him from his roles on the TV series “Just Shoot Me!” and “Entourage.”
On the big screen, his credits include “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” for which he received his Oscar nomination, as well as “Ship of Fools,” “King Rat,” “The Owl and the Pussycat” and “A Touch of Class.”
He most recently appeared as Jake Gyllenhaal’s father in “Love & Other Drugs.”
Segal also is an accomplished banjo player, having released three albums and performed with the instrument in several of his acting roles.
Segal long has been an advocate and donor for the charity Erasing the Stigma, which aims to eradicate misperceptions about those suffering from mental illness.