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Iconic Star of “Route 66” George Maharis, Dies at 94

This article pays tribute to the late George Maharis, the beloved actor who rose to fame as Buz Murdock in the iconic television series “Route 66. explores Maharis’ early life and rise to stardom, delves into the popularity and significance of “Route 66,” and discusses his departure from the show and subsequent career. Join us as we celebrate the life and contributions of this talented and influential actor.

George maharis
Image Source : Washington Post

George Maharis Death

George Maharis, the stage-trained actor best known for his role in the hit television series “Route 66,” passed away at the age of 94. Maharis, with his rough-hewn good looks, became an icon to American youth in the 1960s as he cruised the country in a Corvette convertible.

Born and raised in Hell’s Kitchen, New York, Maharis defied his family’s expectations of joining the restaurant business and instead pursued a career in entertainment. Initially aspiring to be a singer, Maharis transitioned to acting after vocal cord damage, eventually training under renowned acting instructors Lee Strasberg and Sanford Meisner at the Actors Studio.

“Route 66” and Popularity

In the groundbreaking television series “Route 66,” Maharis portrayed the character of Buz Murdock, a hardened survivor from Hell’s Kitchen. Alongside co-star Martin Milner, who played Tod Stiles, the duo embarked on a cross-country journey in a shiny new Corvette.

“Route 66” stood out from other shows of its time as it was filmed on location, showcasing different cities each week and featuring guest appearances from future stars such as Robert Redford, James Caan, Robert Duvall, and Alan Alda. Inspired by Jack Kerouac’s novel “On the Road,” the series captured the essence of the iconic highway and its role in America’s westward migration.

Departure from “Route 66” and Career After

Following the third season of “Route 66,” Maharis made the difficult decision to leave the show. Although the series continued for one more season without him, Maharis never regained the same level of fame he achieved during his time on “Route 66.”

However, his contribution to the show and its impact on American television remains significant. Maharis received recognition from a new generation when director Quentin Tarantino mentioned him in his 2019 film, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.”

Film Career and Television Work

Beyond “Route 66,” Maharis left his mark in the film industry, starring in various movies such as “Quick Before It Melts,” “The Satan Bug,” and “The Desperadoes.” He also took on notable roles in several TV movies, including “Escape to Mindanao” and “Murder on Flight 502.”

Throughout his career, Maharis made memorable appearances on popular TV series like “Fantasy Island,” “The Bionic Woman,” and “Murder, She Wrote.” Although he returned to weekly television with “The Most Deadly Game” in 1970, the show only lasted one season.

Legacy and Personal Life

George Maharis’ portrayal of Buz Murdock and his role in “Route 66” left an indelible mark on American television. Despite facing personal challenges, including vocal cord damage, Maharis remained a beloved figure in the entertainment industry. His rough-hewn good looks and charismatic presence on screen captivated audiences, and his contributions to the craft of acting were recognized by his peers.

Remembering George Maharis

As news of George Maharis‘ passing spread, fans and colleagues paid tribute to the late actor’s contributions to television and the arts. Maharis’ legacy extends beyond his time on “Route 66” and encompasses his extensive filmography and television appearances


To work in a challenging environment that will test me at all levels and allow me to utilize and ameliorate my professional as well as personal skills by way of positive contribution to the organization while at the same time being resourceful, innovative and flexible.

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