Veteran actor George Gaynes, who was a regular on “Punky Brewster” and played memorable roles in the “Police Academy” movies and the Oscar winner “Tootsie,” has died. Deadline.com reports that Gaynes died Monday in North Bend, Wash., at 98.
Gaynes had a career on TV and in film that spanned almost a half-century, going back to guest appearances on early TV series including “NBC Television Opera Theatre,” “The Defenders,” “Hawaiian Eye” and “The Alfred Hitchcock Hour.” He played Commandant Lassard in seven “Police Academy” movies from 1984-1994 and in the TV adaptation “Police Academy: The Series” in 1998.
He was nominated for a New York Film Critics Circle Award for best supporting actor in 1982 for his performance as Dr. John Van Horn in “Tootsie.” Gaynes went on to a role as a regular on “Punky Brewster,” playing Henry Warnimont from 1984-1988.
Subsequent regular TV roles included “The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd” and “Hearts Afire” in the early 1990s.