Claim to Fame
Punky Brewster, Hearts Afire
Profile Bio Text
George Gaynes (born George Jongejans; May 16, 1917) is a Finnish-born American actor. He is an accomplished Broadway actor, as well as a film and television star in the United States. He is best-known to movie fans as Commandant Eric Lassard in the Police Academy series, and to television fans as the curmudgeonly Henry Warnimont on the NBC series Punky Brewster, in which his wife, Allyn Ann McLerie, guest-starred as his love interest, and as Frank Smith, the mob boss brought down by Luke Spencer (Anthony Geary) on the soap opera General Hospital.
Gaynes was born in Helsinki, Finland, the son of Iya Grigorievna De Gay (later known as Lady Iya Abdy), an artist, and Gerritt Jongejans, a businessman. His uncle was actor Gregory Gaye. A United States citizen for most of his life, and blessed with a superb singing voice and an amiable stage presence, Gaynes rapidly built a reputation as a Broadway musical comedy performer in the 1940s and `50s (his best-known appearance was in Wonderful Town, the musical version of My Sister Eileen).
He alternated between stage musicals and both comic and dramatic plays, including his role as Bob Baker in the original production of Wonderful Town (1953), Jupiter in the Cole Porter musical Out of This World , Gilbert and Sullivan operettas and as Henry Higgins in the 1964 US tour of My Fair Lady. In television, Gaynes provided Henry Warnimont`s voice for the animated series version of Punky Brewster, and directed several episodes of WKRP in Cincinnati. Films in which he appeared include The Way We Were, Nickelodeon and Tootsie. In 1984, he played Commandant Lassard, the titular leader, in the first of seven Police Academy movies, and audiences of the 1980s may remember him as Frank Smith, the Mafia boss who was after Luke and Laura on the popular soap opera General Hospital. In 1994, he played Serybryalzov in Louis Malle`s acclaimed independent feature, Vanya on 42nd Street. Entering films and television in the early 1960s, Gaynes was a regular on the TV daytime dramas Search for Tomorrow and General Hospital, and showed up in such movies as The Group (1968), Marooned (1969) and Doctor`s Wives (1971). He also played a role in the sci-fi television series Sliders for one episode, being the aged character of the leading role Quinn Mallory, played by Jerry O`Connell. He has been married to Canadian-born stage and television actress and dancer Allyn Ann McLerie since December 20, 1953; they have two children.
Couple Profile Source
Full Name at Birth
Gregory Gayes (Uncle)
Actor/Actress, Soundtrack, Director
Has Detailed Data (New)
George Gaynes (born George Jongejans; May 3, 1917 – February 15, 2016) was an American singer, actor and voice artist. Born to Dutch and Russian parents in Finland, he served in the Royal Netherlands Navy during World War II and subsequently immigrated to the United States, where he became a citizen and began his acting career on Broadway.
Place of Death
North Bend, Washington
Cause of Death
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