Actor George D. Wallace died July 22 in Los Angeles of complications following injuries when he fell during a vacation with his wife, actress Jane A. Johnston, in Pisa, Italy. He was 88.
Services will be held at noon on Friday, July 29, at Hollywood Forever, 6000 Santa Monica Blvd.
Wallace, a versatile actor in features, on Broadway and on TV, had been hospitalized for five weeks in Pisa before he was sufficiently stabilized to return to his Los Angeles home.
Born in New York City, he served in the Navy for eight years, inspired by his great grandfather Admiral George Dewey. He started out bartending in Hollywood before becoming a singer and attending drama school. His film debut came in 1950 in “The Sun Sets at Dawn” and he went on to appear in more than 25 Westerns including the Hopalong Cassidy films. A starring role as Commando Cody, Sky Marshall of the Universe, in the Republic serial “Radar Men From the Moon,” led to a role in sci fi classic “Forbidden Planet.” Other feature roles incuded “Night of the Hunter,” “The Big Sky,” “The Lawless Breed and “The French Line.” More recently, he appeared in “Punchline,” “Forces of Nature,” “Postcards From the Edge” and “Defending Your Life.” His last film was “Multiplicity” in l996.
In l955, while filming “Forbidden Planet,” casting director Leonard Murphy heard him singing between scenes and introduced him to Broadway composer Richard Rodgers, who took him to Broadway as the leading man opposite opera star Helen Traubel in “Pipe Dream,” based on the John Steinbeck novel “Sweet Thursday.” He then starred in “Pajama Game,” “Jennie” and “New Girl in Town,” for which he was nominated for a N. Y. Drama Critics Award.
Later, he starred as King Arthur in the national touring company of “Camelot.” and in “The Man of La Mancha.” In Los Angeles, he appeared in “Cat On a Hot Tin Roof” at the Mark Taper Forum.
On TV, he guested on more than l00 episodes of shows including “Gunsmoke,” “Bonanza” “ER,” “Dynasty,” “L.A.Law” and “Hill Street Blues.”
He is survived by his wife.
Donations may be made to The Actors’ Fund of America, 729 Seventh Ave., l0th Floor, New York 10019