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Laurent Imbault

Laurent Imbault

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Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A Tony-winning actor on Broadway for more than a half-century, George S. Irving delighted grown-up audiences in musicals like the 1973 revival of "Irene" while also maintaining a dedicated fanbase among children for his voice-over work on "Underdog" (NBC, 1964-67) and "The Year Without a Santa Claus" (ABC, 1974). Born George Irving Shelasky in Springfield, Massachusetts on November 1, 1992, he began singing in local houses of worship as a pre-teenager and gained his first exposure to stage drama at Classical High School. After studying at the Leland Powers School in Boston on a drama scholarship, Irving headed west to work in the chorus at the famed "Muny" - the Municipal Theater Association of St. Louis. His first job was in the chorus for a 1943 production of Oklahoma!, but the work was cut short days later when Irving was drafted into the Army. He resumed his acting career upon his return to civilian life in 1946, landing a starring role in the military comedy revue "Call Me Mister" that same year. Among the show's cast was actress and dancer Maria Karnilova, who would go on to win a Tony for "Fiddler on the Roof" in 1965; the couple married in 1948 and remained together until her death in 2001....

A Tony-winning actor on Broadway for more than a half-century, George S. Irving delighted grown-up audiences in musicals like the 1973 revival of "Irene" while also maintaining a dedicated fanbase among children for his voice-over work on "Underdog" (NBC, 1964-67) and "The Year Without a Santa Claus" (ABC, 1974). Born George Irving Shelasky in Springfield, Massachusetts on November 1, 1992, he began singing in local houses of worship as a pre-teenager and gained his first exposure to stage drama at Classical High School. After studying at the Leland Powers School in Boston on a drama scholarship, Irving headed west to work in the chorus at the famed "Muny" - the Municipal Theater Association of St. Louis. His first job was in the chorus for a 1943 production of Oklahoma!, but the work was cut short days later when Irving was drafted into the Army. He resumed his acting career upon his return to civilian life in 1946, landing a starring role in the military comedy revue "Call Me Mister" that same year. Among the show's cast was actress and dancer Maria Karnilova, who would go on to win a Tony for "Fiddler on the Roof" in 1965; the couple married in 1948 and remained together until her death in 2001. Irving soon became one of the most dependable players on Broadway, where his resonant baritone voice and knack for comedy were highlights of "Can-Can" (1953), "Bells are Ringing" (1956) and "Irma La Douce" (1960). Between theater roles, Irving was seen occasionally in guest roles on network television, though his most consistent small screen work was as a narrator and voice-over actor on cartoons produced by the Boston-based production company Total Television, including "Go Go Gophers" (CBS, 1966-69) and the cult favorite "Underdog." In 1973, Irving won the Tony for his turn as the outrageous fashion designer Madame Lucy in "Irene," a revival of the popular and long-running jazz musical. He remained a staple of New York stage for the next three decades, appearing in both the ill-fated "So Long, 174th Street" (1976) and its 2008 revival, retitled "Enter Laughing." Between these productions, there were turns in "The Pirates of Penzance" (1981) and a 1983 revival of "On Your Toes," as well as small-screen appearances on "All in the Family" (CBS, 1971-79) and a run on "Ryan's Hope" (ABC, 1975-1989). But again, animation provided him with his most enduring television role: Heat Miser, who squabbles with his brother, Snow Miser (voiced by Dick Shawn), in the Rankin-Bass holiday special "The Year without a Santa Claus." Irving's apoplectic performance and show-stopping run through a musical number, "The Heat Miser Song," endeared him to young audiences for more than four decades; he would reprise the character in "A Miser Brothers' Christmas" (ABC Family, 2008). The year proved exceptionally busy for Irving, who performed a one-man cabaret show at Feinstein's in New York City while also performing in "Enter Laughing" that same year, and would cap the year, and his career, with the Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theater. Irving died of heart failure at the age of 94 on December 26, 2016.

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CAST: (feature film)

1.
 The Human Stain (2003) Administrative officer
2.
 WW3 (2001) Man In Apartment
3.
 Contract, The (2000) Luc
4.
 Possible Worlds (2000) Darkroom Technician
5.
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