×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Character actor George Murdock dies

Appeared on 'Barney Miller,' 'Battlestar,' 'Star Trek'

Character actor George Murdock, best known as Lt. Scanlon on “Barney Miller,” Dr. Salik on “Battlestar Galactica” and “God” in “Star Trek V: The Final Frontier,” died April 30 in Los Angeles. He was 81.

Murdock racked up more than 200 credits in TV and film over the course of a career that spanned more than five decades.

In another connection to “Star Trek,” Murdock played Admiral J.P. Hanson in two episodes of “The Next Generation.”

The actor also appeared onstage, originating the role of Judge Julius Hoffman in the Odyssey Theater’s 1979 production of “The Chicago Conspiracy Trial” (and reprising the role 25 years later). As one of the original members of the Melrose Theater, Murdock performed in many plays with the troupe, most notably, “Lester Sims Retires Tomorrow,” which later moved to Off Broadway.

The actor began a steady stream of smallscreen roles in the early 1960s with credits in “Twilight Zone,” “The Untouchables, “77 Sunset Strip.” Later came roles in “Hawaii Five-O,” “Mod Squad,” “Ironside,” “Gunsmoke,” “McCloud,” “Lou Grant” and “The Rockford Files.” He played generals in miniseries “The Winds of War” and “War and Remembrance,” and he was a regular on the brief Yakov Smirnoff vehicle “What a Country” in 1986. Later credits included “L.A. Law,” “ER,” the “X Files” series and movie and “CSI.”

With his characteristic gravitas, Murdock was a natural to play judges, and he did so repeatedly not only onstage but also on television (“Law and Order,” “Judging Amy”) and in film (“Timescape,” “Final Analysis”).

Born in Salina, Kans., Murdock is survived by his wife, Cathy, and a stepdaughter.

A remembrance of Murdock will be held Sunday, May 20, at 2 p.m. at the Odyssey Theater, 2055 South Sepulveda Blvd., L.A.

More Scene

  • Amy Poehler Is Ready for a

    Amy Poehler Is Ready for a 'Parks and Rec' Reunion

    Is Amy Poehler just getting our hopes up? We hope not, because the funny lady tells Variety that she’s ready for a “Parks and Recreation” reunion. “I am technically available,” Poehler said on Monday at Smart Girls’ 10th anniversary celebration dinner. “I have like six of Leslie’s blazers in my closet, so anytime.” “Parks and Recreation” [...]

  • Meredith Walker, Rashida Jones, Amy Poehler,

    Inside Amy Poehler's Smart Girls 10th Anniversary Dinner (EXCLUSIVE)

    “I’ve made an observation I’d like to share. I’m the only one that’s eaten my crab cake,” joked Amy Poehler as she addressed the room during the round robin introductions being made at her Smart Girls 10th anniversary dinner on Monday night. The 16 women at the table, who were so enthralled in the conversation [...]

  • Alfonso Cuaron, Yalitza Aparicio, Marina de

    Alfonso Cuaron Says 'Roma' Is Better in Theaters

    Director Alfonso Cuaron opted to work with Netflix for his latest film “Roma,” but the decorated filmmaker isn’t discounting the importance of a big-screen viewing. “The complete experience of ‘Roma’ is unquestionably in a movie theater,” Cuaron said Monday night at the Egyptian Theater in Los Angeles for the premiere of “Roma.”  The streaming giant did [...]

  • Dylan O'Brien, Justin Theroux, Angela Bassett,

    Travis Knight on Getting the Call to Direct ‘Bumblebee’: ‘Did You Guys Get The Right Number?’

    “Bumblebee” director Travis Knight admits he couldn’t believe it when Paramount Studios and producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura called him two years ago, asking him to helm the upcoming “Transformers” movie. “My initial question was, ‘Did you guys get the right number?'” Knight joked at Sunday’s premiere of “Bumblebee” at the Chinese Theater in Los Angeles. “You’ve seen [...]

  • Director Peter JacksonWarner Bros. Pictures THEY

    Peter Jackson Talks Transition From 'Hobbit' Movies to World War I Documentary

    Peter Jackson remains a bit astounded at his transition four years ago from the Shire of Middle Earth to the French battlefields of World War I. Jackson introduced his documentary “They Shall Not Grow Old” Friday night at the Linwood Dunn Theatre in Hollywood, four weeks after it aired on Armistice Day on the BBC. [...]

  • Hillary Clinton'Network' play opening night, New

    Hillary Clinton Attends Opening of Broadway's 'Network'

    A 1976 film might not be expected to translate seamlessly to Broadway in 2018, but for the cast and creative team behind “Network,” which premiered Thursday night with Hillary Clinton in the audience, the story still feels uncomfortably close to home. “It was a satire then, and now it’s documentary realism,” said Lee Hall, who [...]

  • Children's Defense Fund

    Angela Bassett, Conan O'Brien Honor Young Students at Children's Defense Fund Gala

    Awards season may be right around the corner, but on Thursday, Hollywood took a break from the glitz and glam to celebrate five high school students who have excelled academically despite facing extreme adversity both at home and in the classroom. The 29th annual Beat the Odds Awards ceremony at the Skirball Cultural Center featured [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content