George S. Irving (born George Irving Shelasky; November 1, 1922) is an American actor, known primarily for his character roles on Broadway.
Life and career:
Irving was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, the son of Rebecca (née Sack) and Abraham Shelasky. It was when Irving was 13 or 14 when he sang in synagogues and churches as a boy soprano. By his final high school year in 1940, he heard about a Boston dramatic school in Boston for those who were not quite draft age and who were tall and had deep voices, so he got a scholarship right away. A year after, he spent his chorus time working in St. Louis at the Muny Opera in 1942.
Irving made his debut in the original 1943 production of Oklahoma!, only to be drafted days later to serve in World War II. He is one of three surviving cast members of the original 1943 opening night production of Oklahoma!, along with Marc Platt (dancer), and Bambi Linn. He received this role when, during one afternoon, one of the actors lost his voice, and Iriving went on for his replacement. He explains the following: "I wrote to The Theatre Guild when they were casting Oklahoma! and asked them to remind Oscar Hammerstein that he knew me a little, and I got an audition and was cast in the chorus.
Irving is best known to Broadway audiences for his role opposite Debbie Reynolds in Irene (1974) and his Tony nominated performance as Sir John in Me and My Girl (1987).
In 2008, Irving recreated the three roles he originally played in the ill-fated 1976 Joseph Stein musical So Long, 174th Street, now reworked, revised, and with its original title Enter Laughing at Off-Broadway's York Theatre Company, and received rave reviews for his rendition of "The Butler's Song".
Irving performed his one-man cabaret show to great acclaim at Feinstein's in New York City in November 2008.
On December 8, 2008, aged 86, Irving received the 17th Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theatre.
Voice acting career:
One of his most prominent non-Broadway roles was a voice-over for Rankin-Bass's animated holiday television special The Year Without a Santa Claus, in which he played the embittered Heat Miser opposite Dick Shawn's Snow Miser. He did another voice-over for Rankin-Bass as Mister Geppetto in Pinocchio's Christmas and was the narrator of the animated cartoon series Underdog, as well as the voice of Running Board on Go Go Gophers.
Irving has also narrated the popular Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark Audio Books.
Irving returned to television in 2008 after an absence of more than a decade to reprise his role as Heat Miser in a new sequel to The Year Without a Santa Claus, A Miser Brothers' Christmas, which premiered on December 13, 2008, on cable's ABC Family. The show served as the network's first-ever original animated special. The production was nominated for an Annie Award for Best Animated Television Production Produced for Children by the Los Angeles Chapter of the International Animated Film Society.
Irving is familiar to television audiences of the 1970s as a result of his multiple memorable guest-starring appearances on All In The Family as Russ DeKuyper, the loudmouthed husband of Edith Bunker's cousin Amelia.
Irving was married to actress Maria Karnilova from 1948 until her death in 2001. They had a son, Alexander of Oceanside, California, a daughter, Katherine Irving of South Salem, New York, and three grandchildren.
A Wonderful Life (2005),
Busker Alley (2005),
Me and My Girl (1986),
On Your Toes (1983 revival),
The Pirates of Penzance (1981 revival),
I Remember Mama (1979),
Once in a Lifetime (1978 revival),
So Long, 174th Street (1976),
Irene (1973 revival),
An Evening with Richard Nixon and... (1972),
The Happy Time (1968),
Bravo Giovanni (1962),
Irma La Douce (1960),
Shinbone Alley (1957),
Bells Are Ringing (1956),
Me and Juliet (1953),
Two's Company (1952),
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1949),
Call Me Mister (1946),