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|Also Known As:||George Jongejans||Died:||February 15, 2016|
|Born:||May 16, 1917||Cause of Death:|
|Birth Place:||Helsinki, FI||Profession:||Cast ... actor opera singer director acting teacher|
Whether he is best remembered as the screwball Commandant Lassard from the "Police Academy" (1984) franchise, the grumpy but kind hearted Henry Warnimont from the series "Punky Brewster" (NBC, 1984-88), or the amorous soap opera star John Van Horn in the comedy "Tootsie" (1982), actor George Gaynes was a fixture in '80s American pop culture. Originally born in Finland in 1917, Gaynes studied at the Collège Classique Cantonal near Lausanne in Switzerland and later went on to study opera at the Music School of Milan in Italy. He would serve in both the Dutch and British Navies during World War II, before eventually relocating to the United States to focus on acting. He began racking up starring roles in Broadway shows like "The Consul" and "Wonderful Town," and eventually enrolled at the Actors Studio. After marrying a fellow Broadway actress, Allyn Ann McLerie, Gaynes and his new wife relocated to Los Angeles, where he began appearing on TV series like "Bonanza" (NBC, 1959-1973). His memorable role in "Tootsie" would come in 1982, quickly followed by the first of seven "Police Academy" movies in 1984. That same year, Gaynes began starring opposite the precocious Soleil Moon Frye on "Punky Brewster." He would go on to play the recurring character of Arthur Feldman on "The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd" (NBC, 1987-1991) and make notable appearances in films like "The Crucible" (1996) and "Wag the Dog" (1997) before retiring from acting in 2003. Gaynes died in 2016. He was 98 years old.
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