Tags: george gaynes | dies | actor | punky brewster

George Gaynes Dies: 'Punky Brewster' Dad, 'Police Academy' Star Was 98

Image: George Gaynes Dies: 'Punky Brewster' Dad, 'Police Academy' Star Was 98
(ABC/IMDb)

By    |   Thursday, 18 Feb 2016 01:17 PM

George Gaynes, who starred in the 1980s sitcom "Punky Brewster" and played the Commandant Lassard in the "Police Academy" comedy movie franchise, died Monday in North Bend, Washington. He was 98.

Gaynes, who had a memorable costarring role in the movie "Tootsie," died at his daughter's home, The New York Times reported. He played Henry Warnimont, the building manager who found an abandoned girl, played by Soleil Moon Frye, in "Punky Brewster." The series started in 1984 and ran for four seasons, first on NBC, and then syndication.

Frye posted a tribute to Gaynes on Facebook Tuesday.

 

The universe just gained a gigantic star. You will be in my heart and soul always & forever. Your little PunkyRIP George Gaynes Love to your family.

Posted by Soleil Moonfrye on Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Gaynes was cast in all seven "Police Academy" films, following the wacky exploits of the misfit police recruits, according to Variety.  He created the role of dimwitted Commandant Lassard in 1984.

Born George Jongejans in Helsinki, Finland, to a Russian mother and Dutch father, he was raised in France, England, and Switzerland. After World War II, when he served in the Royal Dutch Navy, he moved to the United States and joined the New York City Opera.

He changed his name to Gaynes and appeared on the soap operas "General Hospital" and "Search for Tomorrow," Variety noted. His film credits included "The Way We Were," "Altered States," and "Wag the Dog."

Fellow celebrities paid tribute to Gaynes on social media.






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George Gaynes, who starred in the 1980s sitcom "Punky Brewster" and played the Commandant Lassard in the "Police Academy" comedy movie franchise, died Monday in North Bend, Washington. He was 98.
george gaynes, dies, actor, punky brewster
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2016-17-18
Thursday, 18 Feb 2016 01:17 PM
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