George Maharis, the beloved actor known for his role as Buz Murdock on the TV series Route 66, passed away on May 24 after a 60-year battle with hepatitis. Contrary to initial reports, his actual date of passing was May 24. Despite never marrying or having children, Maharis is survived by his sister and brother.
A close friend and caretaker of Maharis, Marc Bahan, took to Facebook to express his grief, describing Maharis as a kind-hearted person who was always willing to go out of his way for others. Bahan’s heartfelt message touched the hearts of many who had known Maharis throughout his life.
Maharis began his acting career in 1953 and gained recognition through his appearances in movies, sitcoms, and television shows. In 1960, he was selected to star in the popular series Route 66, a spin-off of Naked City. He played the character of Buz Murdock for three seasons before deciding to leave the show in 1963.
During his time on Route 66, Maharis received an Emmy nomination in 1962 for his outstanding performance. However, he faced a setback when he contracted hepatitis later that year. Despite his best efforts to return to the series, the demanding schedule and long hours proved to be too much for his ailing health. Doctors warned him of the severe consequences if he continued, and he ultimately had to step away from the show.
After a two-year break to allow his body to recover, Maharis made a comeback to the entertainment industry with the movie Quick Before It Melts in 1964. He continued to appear in numerous films, TV shows, and sitcoms over the next three decades, leaving a lasting impact on audiences.
His final role was in the film Doppelganger in 1993, marking the end of his illustrious career.
In addition to his acting talent, Maharis was also known for his music. He recorded several songs, including the popular tracks “Teach Me Tonight,” “After the Lights Go Down Low,” and “They Knew About You.” His music resonated with many fans and earned him a spot on the Billboard charts in 1962.
George Maharis left a significant impression on the 1960s and beyond. Fans recall their admiration for him during his time on Route 66 and his influence as a charismatic and iconic figure of that era. Many cherished his records and followed his career closely, expressing their regret at not having had the opportunity to meet him in person.
With his passing, George Maharis leaves behind a legacy of talent, kindness, and dedication to his craft. He will be remembered fondly by his fans and those who had the privilege of knowing him.