George O. Petrie, a longtime character actor who appeared on Broadway, television and in films, died Sunday at his home in Brentwood of lymphoma. He was 85.
Born in New Haven, Conn., and graduated from USC in 1934, Petrie landed in New York, where he appeared in the Broadway show “Cafe Crown.”
In the Army during World War II, he appeared in the Broadway run of “The Army Play by Play,” which consisted of a group of five one-act plays written, performed and directed by soldiers from five different camps.
The six-month run on Broadway was preceded by a command performance for President Roosevelt at his Hyde Park, N.Y., residence.
Petrie was transferred to the Army Air Corps and assigned to the play “Winged Victory,” a show written, directed and produced by Moss Hart to benefit the Air Corps. After a six-month run on Broadway he appeared in the 1944 film version directed by George Cukor.
After his discharge after the war, Petrie met his future wife, actress Patty Hope, and turned to radio. His radio credits include the title roles in “The Falcon,” “The Amazing Mr. Malone” and “The Casebook of Gregory Hood.”
During the 1950s, Petrie appeared on numerous live TV shows including “Search for Tomorrow,” “As the World Turns” and “The Edge of Night.”
He also had a recurring role on Jackie Gleason’s “The Honeymooners” and worked with Gleason occasionally until 1969.
Additional TV credits include “Kraft Television Theatre,” “The Philco Hour” and “Robert Montgomery Presents.” Petrie also appeared on “Dallas” for 12 years as the Ewing family lawyer.
Feature credits include “Hud” and “Boomerang.” He most recently appeared as Paul Reiser’s film editor on “Mad About You.”
In addition to his wife, he is survived by a son, David.
A memorial service will be at 12:30 p.m. today at Old North Church, Forest Lawn, Hollywood Hills.Family suggests donations to the Actors’ Fund, 1501 Broadway, New York, NY 10036.