NEW YORK (AP) – George Grizzard, a Tony Award-winning actor who won acclaim for performing in Edward Albee’s plays and appeared in movies and television shows over a 50-year career, has died at age 79.

Grizzard died Tuesday at a Manhattan hospital of complications from lung cancer, said his agent, Clifford Stevens.

Grizzard appeared in the original Broadway production of Albee’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” and won a Tony more than 30 years later in 1996 for his performance in a revival of another Albee play, “A Delicate Balance.”

He made his Broadway debut as Paul Newman’s brother and fellow convict in “The Desperate Hours” in 1955.

“Virginia Woolf,” a searing portrait of marital strife, caused a sensation when it opened in 1962.

Grizzard played Nick, the young victim of the warring couple George and Martha, but left the play after a few months to play Hamlet at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis. He also played the title role in Shakespeare’s “Henry V” there.

His film roles included a bullying U.S. senator in “Advise and Consent” in 1962 and an oilman in “Comes a Horseman” in 1978. He and Elaine Stritch played a wealthy couple in Woody Allen’s “Small Time Crooks” in 2000.

On television, Grizzard made regular appearances on “Law & Order” and other series.

He won an Emmy Award starring with Henry Fonda in “The Oldest Living Graduate” in 1980.


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