Route 66 Star George Maharis Dies at 94

George Maharis, the actor who gained fame as the star of the hit 1960s TV series “Route 66,” died at 94. Maharis was a native of New York City and one of seven children born to Greek immigrants. He began his career as a singer but eventually turned to acting and quickly made a name for himself in Hollywood.

Maharis became a household name in the 1960s thanks to his role as Buz Murdock in “Route 66,” a popular TV series that followed the adventures of two young men as they traveled across America in a Corvette. Maharis was praised for his brooding intensity and rugged good looks, and he quickly became a heartthrob to millions of fans across the country. Despite his success, Maharis left the show after two seasons, reportedly due to health issues.

Early Life and Career

George Maharis was born on September 1, 1928, in Astoria, Queens, New York City. He was the son of Greek immigrants and grew up in a working-class family. Maharis attended Flushing High School and studied art at the prestigious Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

After graduating from college, Maharis moved to New York City to pursue a career in acting. He made his Broadway debut 1953 in the play “Time Out for Ginger.” Maharis appeared in several other Broadway productions, including “The Happiest Fella” and “New Girl in Town.”

In the late 1950s, Maharis began to transition to television and film. He made his film debut in the 1958 movie “Some Like It Hot,” starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon. Maharis also appeared in several other films, including “The Satan Bug” and “The Happening.”

However, Maharis is perhaps best known for his role as Buz Murdock in the television series “Route 66.” The show premiered in 1960 and ran for four seasons. Maharis starred alongside Martin Milner, and the two played young men traveling across the country in a Corvette. The show was a hit with audiences and helped to launch Maharis’ career.

Route 66 and Fame

George Maharis rose to fame in the 1960s as the star of the hit TV show “Route 66.” The show followed Maharis and his co-star Martin Milner as they traveled across the country in a Corvette, encountering various people and situations. Maharis played the role of Buz Murdock, a tough and streetwise young man from New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen.

“Route 66” was a groundbreaking show that captured the era’s spirit and resonated with audiences across the country. It was one of the first shows to feature a cross-country road trip, and it reflected the growing restlessness and dissatisfaction of young people in America at the time.

Maharis quickly became a heartthrob and a cultural icon with his rugged good looks and rebellious persona. He was a symbol of the counterculture movement that was sweeping the nation, and his fans adored him for it.

Despite his success on “Route 66,” Maharis left the show after three seasons. He was reportedly unhappy with the show’s direction and wanted to pursue other opportunities. However, his departure did not diminish his status as a pop culture icon, and he continued to work in film and television throughout his career.

Overall, “Route 66” and George Maharis’s portrayal of Buz Murdock played a significant role in shaping the cultural landscape of the 1960s. The show and its star will always be remembered as a symbol of the era and a testament to the power of television to capture the spirit of a generation.

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