George R. Robertson, ‘Police Academy’ Actor, Dead at 89
George R. Robertson, the actor best known for playing police chief Henry Hurst in the Police Academy films, has died at the age of 89.
Robertson’s obituary notes that he passed away Jan. 29, “surrounded by his loving family.” “He leaves a legacy of many accomplishments - a splendid career in stage, films, and TV with over 80 roles on both the big and small screen, most notably the original and six sequels of Police Academy.”
The Canadian actor got his start onstage before later breaking into films. His early cinematic roles included uncredited appearances in 1968’s Rosemary’s Baby and the 1970 disaster film Airport. He’d land further parts in Paperback Hero (1973) and Norma Rae (1979) before later securing a role in 1984’s Police Academy.
Despite scathing reviews, the low-budget comedy was an unexpected success. Police Academy earned more than $150 million worldwide, making it the sixth highest grossing film that year. The success of the original movie led to a series of sequels, all of which were released across a ten year span. Robertson reprised his role in all but one of the films (he did not appear in Police Academy: Mission to Moscow, the seventh and final installment in the franchise).
Robertson’s later work included roles in JFK (1991), National Lampoon's Senior Trip (1995) and Murder at 1600 (1997). In 2006, he portrayed Vice President Dick Cheney in ABC’s Emmy-wining two-part miniseries The Path to 9/11.
Robertson also dedicated much of his life to philanthropic efforts, including serving as a UNICEF ambassador. The actor’s obituary notes that his later life was “devoted to painting and writing.”
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