Remembering George Maharis: 'Route 66' Star Dies at 94

Hold on to your hats, folks, because I've got some sad news to report. The iconic George Maharis, known for his role as Buz Murdock on the hit TV series "Route 66," has passed away at the age of 94. As a celebrity news expert, I can tell you that Maharis was a true Hollywood legend, and his legacy will live on forever. Let's take a moment to remember the life and career of this beloved actor.

Maharis was born on September 1, 1928, in Astoria, New York. He got his start in showbiz as a singer, performing in nightclubs and on television variety shows in the 1950s. But it was his role on "Route 66" that really put him on the map. The show, which ran from 1960 to 1964, followed two young men as they traveled the country in a Corvette, encountering various people and situations along the way. Maharis played Buz Murdock, a former Marine who was searching for adventure and meaning in his life.

Maharis quickly became a heartthrob, with his rugged good looks and rebellious attitude winning over fans across the country. He was also praised for his acting chops, earning a Golden Globe nomination for his work on the show. But despite his success, Maharis left "Route 66" after just two seasons, citing health issues as the reason for his departure. He continued to act in movies and TV shows throughout the 1960s and 1970s, but never quite achieved the same level of fame as he did with "Route 66."

Despite his relatively short stint in the spotlight, Maharis left a lasting impression on Hollywood and on his fans. Here are a few fun facts about the late actor that you may not have known:

  • Maharis was good friends with another Hollywood legend, James Dean. The two met while studying at the Actors Studio in New York and remained close until Dean's untimely death in 1955.
  • In addition to acting and singing, Maharis was also an accomplished artist. He painted and sculpted throughout his life, and even had a few gallery shows in the 1980s.
  • Maharis was a bit of a daredevil in real life, just like his "Route 66" character. He loved to race cars and motorcycles, and once even broke his leg while racing a motorcycle in Italy.

Rest in peace, George Maharis. Your talent, charm, and good looks will be missed, but never forgotten.