A chat with George Maharis

George Maharis (left) and Martin Milner in

Early in a phone interview with “Route 66” television series co-star George Maharis, I acknowledged to him that I had never seen episodes of the early 1960s drama until I received an advance copy of the upcoming re-release on DVD.

Maharis made a startling admission: Neither had he.

“It was the first time I’d seen them in 47 years,” he said.

Maharis explained that “Route 66” aired Friday nights, when he and co-star Martin Milner were still busy on the set. He’d never seen the TV show he starred in until Kirk Hallam, president of Roxbury Entertainment and producer of the DVD re-release, gave him a compilation of the best “Route 66” episodes several weeks ago.

His reaction?

“They still work,” Maharis said. “I was really surprised how strong they were. I enjoyed watching them, and for the first time, I could see what other people had seen. I was so far removed from it after 47 years that I could see it very, very clearly.

“And, of course, I kept saying, ‘Who’s the dark guy?'” he chuckled, referring to himself on the show. “You just don’t relate to that far back.”

Maharis, now 79, has been retired for nearly 15 years. He spends time at his homes in Beverly Hills, Calif., and New York City overseeing his investments or creating impressionistic oil paintings — many which can be seen at the Elizabeth Collection in Rochester, N.Y. He says he’s in good health, and his quick and clear answers provide no reason to doubt that. His voice, containing a soft New York accent, has deepened with age but remains recognizable.

Maharis’ career totals more than 70 film and television credits. But it’s his “Route 66” role as Buz Murdock, a street-smart heartthrob from Hell’s Kitchen, that earned him an Emmy nomination and his most enduring fame. Murdock and Tod Stiles (played by Milner) drifted from town to town in a Chevrolet Corvette convertible, looking for adventure. The show aired on CBS from 1960 to 1964 and inspired at least two generations to travel the real Route 66.

One unique aspect about “Route 66” was it was shot on location all over America.

“Nobody else ever did that, to my knowledge,” Maharis said. “We worked six days a week, sometimes seven, because we were always behind schedule. You got up at 5 in the morning and you get back to your motel at 7 or 9 at night, sometimes even later.

“And when we’d move the company from one location to another, sometimes we’d lose two or three days of shooting.”

Scripts often didn’t arrive until the day before a shoot. Occasionally, production on a “Route 66” episode would begin with only half a script, with the remainder arriving later in the week. Directors and actors often were on the phone with producers in California, working out story problems as they arose.

He admitted that such conditions were exhausting, but exhilarating.

“It was kind of like a challenge, and I always did like challenges,” he said. “I always did like things that seemed impossible to do. In those days, we did 32 to 35 shows a year. Now, they do 20 to 22, at most.”

During one shoot in Grand Isle, La., Maharis, Milner and two other crew members rented a house to sleep in because the town had no motels. One morning, they found there was no water in the house for showers.

“I went to the guy who owned the house and said there’s no water,” Maharis recalled.

“He said, ‘Yeah, that’s right.’

“I said, ‘What do you mean?’

“He said, ‘When it rains, it goes off the roof and goes into that barrel. That’s when you get the water.’

“It was very, very interesting,” Maharis continued, “because no matter where you went, every town had its own personality. It was totally different from the other town you went to, even if it was only 50 to 60 miles away. That’s not true anymore. You can go a thousand miles now, and everyone’s wearing the same clothes, singing the same songs, eating the same food.”

Maharis revealed a few interesting tidbits about the show:

  • The original title was “The Searchers,” and it was going to be a half-hour.
  • It was going to star him and Bobby Morris. But before “Route 66” began production, Morris died. “From the way I got it, he was in his girlfriend’s apartment, had an epileptic fit, and he died,” Maharis said.
  • The name of Morris’ character was Linc. When Glenn Corbett replaced Maharis late in “Route 66’s” run, his character’s name was Linc.
  • Many viewers thought the color of the Corvette was red, even though “Route 66” was shot in black-and-white. Maharis said in part of the first season, the Corvette was light blue. “But … the cameraman said, ‘It reflects too much light. He had trouble lighting us against the sky because the light blue was reflecting too much light. So, toward the end of the year, they gave us a brown one.”
  • Milner wasn’t the trim-looking fellow you saw on “Route 66” when he was initially cast. “When they found Marty, he was about 40 pounds heavier, and they told him he had to lose weight. I think he gained some of it back after the show. But he was very good about holding the weight down during the show’s run.”
  • Maharis acquired a Corvette himself. Putting on his best poker face, he told “Route 66” sponsor Chevrolet that “we may have a little problem” because he had a Ford Thunderbird he would be driving to the set. Chevrolet quickly gave Maharis a Corvette. Of course, there was no problem, because “I didn’t have a car” at the time, Maharis said.
  • Maharis confirmed that his Buz character was inspired by his background, fleshed out by “Route 66” screenwriter Stirling Silliphant. “He wrote a lot of the character from the conversations we had. Marty … came from more of upper-middle-class family. I came from more of a street background.”
  • Between “Route 66” shoots, Maharis flew to New York City for a four-hour session to record his first album. Months later, while in the hospital recovering from hepatitis, he learned the album had been released while watching “American Bandstand” on television and seeing host Dick Clark announce Maharis’ first single, “Teach Me Tonight.”

A few tabloids reported that Maharis and Milner clashed on the set because of their contrasting personalities.

“Not true,” Maharis said. “We got along very well. We’re different; that’s very true. But we never had any problem. You could see on the screen there was no problem. We were opposites in many ways, but there was respect for each other.”

Maharis said his favorite episodes included “Birdcage on My Foot,” where Buz admits he was a former drug addict. He also cited “A Thin White Line,” in which Tod was given an LSD-like drug at a party.

One episode that stood out for Maharis was “Even Stones Have Eyes,” where Buz is temporarily blinded in an accident. For that shoot, Maharis wore special contact lenses that reduced his vision.

“I had the contact lenses made because it’s tough to fake blindness in such a short time,” he explained. “We didn’t have enough time (in the production schedule) to do it. So I figured the best thing to do was have a pair of lenses put into my eyes so you don’t have to fake it. I went to (a doctor) and said, ‘I want contact lenses that are opaque. I need to see something, but not a lot.'”

Maharis credited the show’s quality to executive producer Herbert B. Leonard and Silliphant. “Stirling was a very talented writer,” he said. “In many cases, if you had to cut a scene, it wasn’t a problem because there was a lot of meat left.”

As for why he left “Route 66,” Maharis emphatically said it wasn’t because of demands for more money, or that he was trying to break his contract so he could get into movies. It was, he said, because of hepatitis problems starting in 1962.

Maharis was hospitalized for a month and missed several episodes because of the disease. He returned to the set and its 12- to 15-hour days. A few weeks after a grueling scene where he rescued a woman from a near-freezing creek, Maharis suffered a relapse.

“The doctor said, ‘If you don’t get out now, you’re either going to be dead, or you’re going to have permanent liver damage,'” Maharis recalled.

“I wasn’t interested in leaving the show. I enjoyed it; I was having a good time. It probably could have gone two or three more years, and I think they even had plans of taking the show to Europe. That’s what they talked about, anyway, and I would have looked forward to that.

“I was trying to recuperate, and there was all the crap going on about how I wanted more money. It was all garbage. Some people even tried to make it like I never had hepatitis at all. But it’s all in the doctor’s reports.

“I was just ill. It took me 2 1/2, three years to recuperate before I started working again. What should have happened, I guess, was that I should have worked only a couple of hours a day.”

Watching the compilation of “Route 66,” Maharis saw a couple of episodes co-starring Corbett, his replacement. Those episodes confirmed to him what others had long reported — that the chemistry had suffered.

“Glenn was more like Marty than he was like me,” Maharis said. “There wasn’t that balance there. There were no opposites, so to speak.”

Maharis said he was unaware of “Route 66’s” impact on Mother Road tourism. But he was well aware of the real Route 66, even though the show rarely took place on it.

“It’s a great old road,” he said. “It’s too bad what (the interstates) did to it. But now they realize the impact that it’s had, and they’re trying to preserve it now. That’s good; it’s part of our history.”

Maharis was asked whether he’d would make an appearance at one of the Route 66 festivals, if asked.

“No, I don’t think so,” he said. “I would have 10, 15 years ago. But I’ve just entered my 80th year. I don’t know if people want to say, ‘Oh … he’s an old guy.’ I’ve gotten very shy about that.

“But you can keep trying.”

UPDATE: You can can order all four seasons of “Route 66” on DVD from Shout! Factory:

Route 66: The Complete Series DVD

Route 66: The Complete Series

398 thoughts on “A chat with George Maharis

  1. Hey Ron:

    That is a really nice interview, straight from the horse’s mouth as it were.

    Just like I told you when you started this site, it is THE premier site for current news and views on Route 66. No one else is out there doing as hard a job as you.

    Plus you are doing for nothing. Dumb*ss.


  2. Thank you for the kind words, Tim

    But make sure you use a smiley emoticon the next time you call me a dummkopf, podner.


  3. I was just a seven year old Michigan boy when the show started but I watched it most of the time. I wanted to be most like Buz Murdock when I grew up. Nothing against Glenn Corbett, but I was disappointed when George Maharis left the show. I saw other shows he was in, sometimes as the bad guy and they disappointed me too. He will always be the dashing young co-hero that he was in the Route 66 series. Just the idea of traveling without a destination, helping people in need and working for gas, lodging and food to get to the next place seems so American and adventuresome I just want to get in my car and go..

    Thank you for doing the interview so we know how he is and how he is getting along.

    1. That’s the same age I was at the time. I friend of my fathers had a 59 vette. I so wanted that car. Now i.m sort of old but the road still calls

  4. Great job Ron, Thanks a heap. These guys and their show was the reason I purchased a new 1961 red Corvette, 283V8 w/dual 4 barrels & a 4spd stick. Dallas, Texas was never the same. We traveled a lot before Uncle Sam invited me for a visit and on $87 a month I couldn’t afford the $100 car payments so I traded her off.

  5. With all the cable channels out there reaching for programming it would be nice if someone could air the reruns. Heck, if American Movie Classics can run original series and MTV and VH1 run shows with nothing to do with music, maybe The Travel Channel could pick it up. With the right promotion it could certainly create some Buz(z).

    1. It’s on ME TV now. I have a few on my DVR. I don’t know about other cable networks but on DISH it is Channel 20

      1. Right,it’s on ME TV. In fact I’m watching an episode right now. Called TRAMP STEAMER. love Craig Stevens. Love all the oldies on that channel. Watched them when they weren’t reruns….

      2. I’ve been watching it on HULU. I’d never seen it for obvious reasons (well before my time), but George is right: it does stand the test of time and then some! I can’t believe this wasn’t on Late Night TV back when I was touring. What a perfect show to watch a handful of episodes of after a gig in the hotel, before hitting the road again. If anyone out there has a kid in a touring band, I strongly suggest getting them the DVD set (and maybe a copy of “On The Road”). I labor under this horrible feeling that band member just hop off to their individual bunks on the bus, their iPads and phones. Some of my greatest memories are of trading books on the bus, discussing them, and watching Spinal Tap maybe 100 times. If this can’t get them together and fire a sense of adventure and bonding, nothing can.

  6. He needn’t be shy about coming to see the roadies. We don’t care how old he is. He’s one of ours. If he’s willing to sit around telling stories, he’ll have us eating out of his hand in a matter of seconds.

    Besides … men with gorgeous eyes are always devastating WAY longer than they’ve got any right to be, so I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if Mr. Maharis were still fully capable of reducing at least a few of us girls to incoherent puddles of mindless estrogen. 😉

    1. Yeah, too bad he’s gay–I really had plans even though I was about 5 when the show began.

  7. I liked this quote best, and it best describes why we all liked to travel on 66:

    It was very, very interesting,” Maharis continued, “because no matter where you went, every town had its own personality. It was totally different from the other town you went to, even if it was only 50 to 60 miles away. That’s not true anymore. You can go a thousand miles now, and everyone’s wearing the same clothes, singing the same songs, eating the same food.”

    Thanks for letting us in on the wonderful intereview.

  8. It was great to hear George is well. Thanks for the interview.
    I’d like to invite all fans of the show to join our discussion group at Route_66tv@yahoogroups.com. We have over 100 members and we’ve been talking about the Route for eight years.

  9. Excellent interview. I very much enjoyed reading this article, and especially happy to hear George Maharis is doing well himself. I purchased the DVD “Best of” collection a year ago and get a kick every time I put an episode on. This DVD set does not, however, have “Black November”, so I am still looking for it. You would also think that with hundreds of cable and satellite channels, somebody would have a “60s channel” showing Route 66 on Friday nights.

  10. Thank you so much. I was so in love with George Maharis back then! I was a teenager and had pictures of him all over and got every magazine that had interviews! My girlfriend and I watched it every week (even tho my father would make spurious remarks about Buzz’s “soliloquies!”) And for my 21st birthday my husband took me to a play in Dayton in which George Maharis was starring. I got a kiss and an autograph from him!! He has the most beautiful eyes I have ever seen!

    Just recently I bought a CD of his songs. Turns out it was the same record I had way back when. And I have been wondering where and how he is.

    Thank you so much for supplying information!

  11. Hi Ron:

    Just happened to come across this interview. Very informative and I’m happy to get updated on George. Thanks! I’ve always wondered what happened to him. I watched the first 4 episodes of Season 1 this past weekend, and it brought back so many memories. I was a big fan of Route 66 and watched it religiously in Manila where I grew up. George Maharis was one of my idols during my teenage years, and really identified with Buz Murdock. I kept hoping he’d come to Manila to shoot a film, but he finally did (Escape to Mindanao, with Vera Miles, made for TV), I had already moved to the US to study at Northwestern. Is there a recent photo of him somewhere? Just wondered what he looks like now. Thanks again.

  12. I remember route 66 when I was a small kid in grammar school. I liked the theme song at the time and enjoyed the show. I even turned into a person who got bit by the travel bug. This interview was interesting. Thanks for posting it. Sorry to hear George feels sensitive about being old. I for one wish I was at his stage. This world has gone wacko and I”m ready to leave! Back then, people treated each other well in most cases. Today, young people all seem to follow the ‘new’ hollywood mantra…. poubt, express unhappiness, look uninterested and look bored. Back then, we knew how to enjoy life even without money. Life was fun.

    1. carla i feel for you i am 52 and thru divorce and economy i have lost everything i now realize like a lot of other people i will have to work until the day i die is that any future frank busterboobear@yahoo.com if you want to talk

  13. Is there a way to contact Mr. Maharis directly? I ‘d like to let him know what kind of raw deal he got on that show. I believe the negative publicity affected his career. Just liked his work and he was a surprisingly good singer, that’s all.

  14. Ron – I have seen ads on-line for the complete set of DVD’s for Route 66, but have not seen them for sale anywhere else. Any inside info on these and if they are worth purchasing?

  15. I was a friend of Jon legere a young up and comming Artist from Maine . We both attended the Art Students League In NYC in 1962 . We stayed at the old Martinique Hotel at 32nd St. and Broadway. He had become friendly with George Maharis while they filmed a RT 66 series at Poland Springs Maine ( thats right ,Maine ,nowhere near rt66 ) He apparently had painted a watercolor portrait that became part of the story line. Maharis had told him he would give him a call whenever he came to NYC. Anyhow , one night while he was about to leave our hotel room he told me Maharis might call and would I take his message while he was away . Sure enough later the phone rang and the person asked for Jon and said he was George Maharis. To this day I still dont know for sure if it was him and I have tried to find that particular sequel of RT66 . I do know it was filmed because it was in all the local papers. Curious if any of you hardcore RT66 fans might know what particular sequel that might have been. thanks

  16. Kent, the Poland Springs episode of “route 66” was entitled “Same Picture, Different Frame. It is episode 95. However, it was a Glenn Corbett episode, not a George Maharis episode. It was filmed in 1964, I believe, and co-starred Joan Crawford.

  17. Great article Ron. I was a huge fan of Route 66 and George. I corresponded with him briefly in the early 80’s when the series aired on, Nick at Nite. George did promos for the shows back then and I loved being able to see him. I used to send him photos to autograph and even sent him one of his record album covers to autograph. He was kind enough to autograph everything I sent to him and send it back to me. If anyone knows his email address it would be wonderful to correspond with him. George, if you read these posts, no one cares about your age. The fans would love to see you again at any festivals. Everyone gets older and they change. Thank you for all the wonderful hours of enjoyment you have given your fans, with your televison shows. movies and music.
    Best Wishes,

  18. George I hope you are healthy and doing well. I was also a hugh Route 66 fan and a even bigger fan of yours.(my sister still has your first record) As a young lad growing up in NC I never missed one show. I was crushed when you were replaced, it never was the same! hugh mistake. You and Marty Milner made me a corvette fan also and I have a restored 61 in my garage that I still hear the song playing in my head everytime I take it out. You mean alot to us George, all us babyboomers that grew up with you. I would love to have a auto/pic, just need and address to write. Hope to hear from you on the address. Aloha and Mahalo for all the style! From Hawaii a big fan! .

  19. My Mom, Dad and I just watched the Even the Stones Have Eyes. We were amazed. My Mom and Dad worked at the Texas Lions Camp as a newly married couple and brought me home as a baby to the camp where we lived while they worked – just before this episode was filmed. My Mom and Dad knew all of the persons in the episode personally with the exception of the 2 main characters and the young lady who was the instructor to one of the main characters. They introduced me to the folks on the screen with names I’d heard about all my life. It was a very powerful experience for my Dad and Mom who knew these wonderful people so well. It was a special walk down memory lane where they were transported back to that special time in their lives with those very special people who meant so much to them. As the episode played, my Mom and Dad reminisced about each of the people pictured and indicated that most had passed away. It was a bittersweet moment. What an amazing coincidence it was to come across this episode with no knowledge of where it was filmed or who it portrayed. One of God’s little miracles!

  20. My wife and I are about to embark on our first Route 66 trip together, and we bought Season 1 of Route 66 just to get us in the right mood for the trip. Both of us were born years after the show went off the air, and we’d never seen it before. We both really dig it, and it’s clear that the chemistry between Milner and Maharis is what made the show special. Maharis seems to be the more interesting of the two, but that may not have been the case if someone other than Milner was the co-lead. I liked Maharis’ attitude in the interview; he respects the legacy of the show, but he’s too busy with life to get caught up in the nostalgia. Buzz would approve.

  21. When I was in highschool, during the 60’s, I watched ROUTE 66 every week. I was so enamored of George, that my friend’s started calling me THE BUZ GIRL. I liked it so much, I took the moniker as my own. Such a long ago program, and it affected my whole life… Even now, the Buz Girl is a full-time RVer and has traveled parts of the Mother Road… I just ordered the DVDs of the first season and can’t wait to see them again. And a photo I saw of George, at age 76, STILL looks great to me… Thanks George.

  22. I’ve been in love with George Maharis since the first episode of Route 66 hit the air. I was only 11 or 12, but I had it bad! Then in 1984 I think, he was appearing in Atlantic City where my friend had seen him in the Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, and when she told me, I was so green with envy. I took a wild chance and wrote to him at the Claridge Hotel where he was performing, and a few months later got a personal reply! I was blown away! I’ve been conversing with him on and off ever since, and he actually emailed me a few times using his friend’s computer because he said he doesn’t own one, but I haven’t heard from him in a couple of years.

    It was always my dream to meet him, but haven’t yet and I’m still hoping. It’s harder now to make that a reality because he’s retired, but I never stop dreaming. He STILL manages to make my heart skip a beat. I saw the recent picture of him taken last year and he looks gorgeous as ever, just a little older now, but he never lost his good looks. I wish him well. It’s so good to see how many fans he still has after all these years.


  23. I have to echo a previous comment: between his rather ‘storied’ past, the fact he’s never even seen his Route 66 episodes, his not owning a computer today etc, somehow Maharis manages to be even cooler than Buz Murdoch.

    I was lucky enough to live a real “Route 66” for about eight years, with my best bud during the late 60’s/early 70’s, and it was by far the happiest/most interesting period of my life. Although Maharis is right: things did change in America after the 60’s. Every city turned into the same set of strip malls and fast food joints.

  24. I remember it as being April or May of 1962 when George’s record “Teach Me Tonight” came out. I bought the 45rpm and then the album as well. My guy friends were into r’n’r music and gave me a hard time about buying a pretty mellow song like “Teach Me Tonigh” but the girls said I has class for doing so! That made me feel real good. I was so sad when George left “Route ’66” What a treat when CBS ran a lot of Geore’s shows during the spring and summer of 1964. What a great actor!

  25. Like so many other female fans I adored George Maharis. Back then I cut out every article published I could find and believe I still have them stored away. I even started writing my “G’s” like George.
    I also collected his record albums and never missed an episode of Rt. 66. I recently lost my records due to water in the basement, but glad to know I can get them now. I loved the old songs he sang such as, “Teach Me Tonight” and more.

    Believe there was a Rt 66 episode with his real life brother, does my memory serve me correctly?

    Thank you for the wonderful article. I so enjoyed reading it and knowing he is alive and well. Must admit I never realized he was so much older than me – how could that be? I am 61 to his 79, but guess age doesn’t mean anything when you are a teenager and think you are in love.

    Again, many thanks.

  26. Yes, George’s brother was in the episode “The Mudd Ness” season #2. George had another record hit the charts as well back in 62 – was not as big as “Teach Me Tonight” anyone remember “Baby Has Gone Bye Bye?

  27. Excellent interview!!! Route 66 was one of my favorite shows growing up. It was on Friday nights right after Rawhide. It was followed by the Twilight Zone. It was a great lineup and my older brother was always there watching it with me. We even got models of Corvettes because we loved the show so much. I’m glad the color of the Corvette was mentioned in your interview. I always thought it was red too. This conversation with Maharis cleared up a lot of misinformation I’d heard after he left the show. I’m glad he and Milner got along well and that he didn’t leave because he wanted more money. That rumor had taken some of the shine off my admiration for him. They were perfectly cast and I remember how upset I was when he left the show. I continued to watch it with his replacement Glenn Corbett, but it wasn’t the same. Corbett was a talented actor and did some great work after the series was cancelled, but Maharis is right. The characters needed that little tension, that interplay between the boy raised in “Hell’s Kitchen” (Maharis) and the one brought up under more affluent conditions (Milner) to make the storylines work. Being opposites resulted in their conflicting reactions to some of the people and situations they encountered. That was one of the key elements that made the show so interesting. When conflict did arise, I remember at least on one episode, it led to a fistfight between them. The verbal exchanges they had during those disagreements brought out deep scars and meaningul emotions related to their own experiences and how it shaped their perception of society. Many of the nuances were based upon the opposite environment they came from. Buz was tough but intelligent. He had a relatively short fuse and preferred to literally grab the bull by the horns if someone got out of line. Todd was more of a diplomat, preferring to reason his way through conflict, although he wasn’t afraid to mix it up either if he had to. The end of each episode always had a moral lesson. That lesson was often delivered in shades of gray. Just like life, the answers don’t always come in black and white.

  28. Hi Ron: Bravo for a wonderful interview! I was a big fan of Route 66 when I was a young boy. Every episode brought you face to face with compelling characters that were as American as the varied locations in which the episodes were filmed. This was drama at its best and you were drawn into it by Maharis’ and Milner’s superb acting. For me the corvette was also a character that was inextricably intertwined with the plot of every episode.

    It’s great to know that Mr. Maharis is doing well after all these years, and I will always consider him a great American actor. And, George, if you read this: “Thank you so much for your contribution to TV drama and sharing the rest of America with us.”

  29. Thanks for this wonderful blog. I have been a big fan of George Maharis since Route 66 first appeared in 1960 when I was fourteen years old. I really had a crush on him. Once when I was eighteen and he was already off of the Route 66 show, I got a chance to see him in person. He came to a local department store in nearby New Orleans (I lived in a suburb called St. Bernard Parish) to promote his latest album, “Where Can You Go for a Broken Heart?” and to sign autographs. I bought his album and then lined up with the hundreds of other fans to get him to sign the album cover. I was barely able to get the words out, but I nervously asked him to write “To Mickey” before he signed his name. He was very nice and did it. That night, he made an appearance at the Pontchartrain Beach Amusement Park in New Orleans and got up on the beach stage in front of hundreds of screaming teenagers, including me. I was eighteen and I guess I was a little old to be acting like that. I always thought other teenagers were so stupid to scream when they saw Elvis or some other movie star, but I just couldn’t help it. He sang his hit “Teach Me Tonight,” and I almost fainted. That was in 1963, and I only got to play that album for two years because Hurricane Betsy hit in 1965, and my house got flooded with five feet of dirty water. The album disappeared along with all the movie magzines I had collected with articles about George. As time went on, I went to college and majored in drama. I was always interested in acting and performed in a lot of school plays as well as community theater stuff. I taught speech and drama at a local high school for thirty-eight years and directed many plays in that time. In the mid-1980’s I got to see George Maharis in the play “I Ought to be in Pictures” at the Beverly Dinner Playhouse in the New Orleans suburb of Metairie. I kept the program for that play up to the time that Hurricane Katrina paid us a visit in 2005. This time the dirty water went over the roof-top of my house in St. Bernard Parish, drowned my six cats, and even ruined all the stuff in the attic. My 91 year old father and I barely made it out alive. My career as a teacher ended at that time too, because all the schools in St. Bernard were flooded with about eight feet of the water for over three weeks. I was able to retire because I had taught for over thirty years, so I did. I have since returned to part-time tutoring because St. Bernard Parish was able to rebuild several of the schools and many of the die-hard residents aare rebuilding. My father and I did not. We have moved to the suburb where the dinner theater was where George Maharis performed in “I Ought to be in Pictures” in the 1980’s. This suburb is supposed to be on higher ground. My father is now handicapped and we need this security. I frequent ebay often in hopes that I can acquire some of my lost memorabilia. Well, now the dinner theater is gone; it burned to the ground several years ago. The amusement park where George sang “Teach Me Tonight” is no longer there. The department store where he signed my album is now a hotel. My albums, magazines, and playbills are all gone, but thanks to this blog, I can still rekindle my memories. I clicked on the site in your blog that had some recent photos of him, and he looks really good. I have now found out that my favorite actor is still around and hopefully, enjoying his own retirement. It’s good to know that he has so many other fans too. Thanks again for the blog.

  30. George you’re the all time super great actor.I”m always using one of your lines from Black November when you and Tod were trying to get the Corvettes steering fixed. You told the ferry operator “Don’t let the new car fool you we’re poor POUR poor. Every time someone askes me for money I tell them “I’m poor, POUR poor” Because of you and Tod I’ve got an old 1959 Corvette sitting in my garage. Thanks for the great memories.

  31. Ron, what a great interview with one of television’s great actors, George Maharis! I rarely missed an episode even though it was on date night. I liked everything about Route 66 and have never tired of the theme music. It brings back great memories.
    I especially appreciated learning about the real reason that George left the show, and he is correct, it was never the same after his departure.
    Like others, I purchased a Corvette convertible last year when I retired at age 67 and the wife and I traveled down Highway 101 from Seattle into California and out on the famed Route 66. We had a blast and a childhood dream was realized.
    I agree with George, let us remember the youthful dark haired guy who is a legend in television productions.

  32. I was born the year after “Route 66” premiered. My husband recently found a “Route 66” sampler at a garage sale, and I was hooked. I’ve now bought Seasons 1 and 2 and eagerly await Season Three’s release in February. Though Buz and Tod are a bit sexist (it was a different era), the show, on the whole, is great. I love all the location shoots and the mix of drama and comedy. Too bad they don’t make shows like this today.

  33. I am very happy to hear that George Maharis is in good health. He brings a smile to my face and a few tears whenever I hear his voice.
    If I could tell him one thing it would be “Thank you for all the enjoyable times I listened to your music and watched your movies”.Route 66 was one of the best TV shows in the 1960. Without George Maharis the show lost it’s appeal.

  34. Wow! I just discovered this site because I google George Maharis occasionally. I used to have a drink with George everytime he was in Dallas at the Dinner theater. He used to visit friends at Cedar Creek Lake. Had his address on Mulholland Drive but lost contact. Are his paintings available on the internet?
    NEVER missed an episode of ‘Route 66’ and wonder why it has no reruns on Turner or some network. I think it would still be a hit.
    Tell George I said Hi. I would be great to see him again sometime here in Dallas.

  35. Just got a computer and this was SO great to read such a wonderful interview with my favorite actor from my favorite show of the 60’s. My sister and I fought back then over our favorite actors – mine was George and hers was Michael Landon. My movie star scrapbook starred every picture and article I could find of George, who I had a major crush on. Of course, now my sister and I agree they were both great actors in their own different ways. I’m not a big fan of technology or how things have changed (totally agree with George about how towns look alike now with the same big box stores with no character and the same fast food chains), but the one GOOD thing about the new technology is being able to once again view all the Route 66 episodes! If George reads this, I’d like to say thanks for making a young teenage girl in the 60’s so happy. And thanks to Ron for a wonderful, wonderful interview.

  36. the best episode ” A thin white line” – I watched it hundreads of times !!!
    it is amazing !!! What a performance !!!

  37. I was in love with George Maharis at age 10. I would pretend he was my husband and take him to work on my bike (my car). We carried on converstions, fairly one sided I would guess- ha ha . I had a plastic play telephone I would call him on. Later we had a baby and I play faked childbirth to give birth to George Jr. George if you read this I hope it makes you smile. Visit me and leave a note.

  38. I am 62 years old now. I enjoyed Route 66 very much as a teenager. I joined the Marine Corps because George was a Marine. I have owned two new Corvettes and driven Route 66. I invited George to my wedding years ago, he sent me a card that read “I’m flattered” but cannot attend, Thank You.

  39. I started watching Route 66 in the mid-to-late eighties during my high school years. It was such a good show – strong writing, progressive themes – that I would stay up until 4 a.m. to watch it on Nick at Nite. I loved doing it – but I hated school the next day! It provided such good, moral guidance for me at that impressionable age, as my parents had divorced many years earlier so I’m so thankful I discovered it.

    I just ordered the DVDs tonight and I can’t wait to watch them. Also, I just read that George is still alive and kicking (I hope the site is current). ‘Can’t believe I’m asking this – but does anyone know where I could write him a fan/thank you letter?

    Thanks for any help anyone can provide me.

  40. I have the 1st season on dvd and the most surprising thing is that the 1st 3 (or is it 4?) episodes take place nowhere near route 66!

  41. I recently retired after spending 40 years as a therapist for delinquent teenage boys. So many of the boys I worked with came from backgrounds like the Buz Murdock character. I just recently acquired the DVD’s of Seasons 1 and 2 and because of the work I did can relate to George’s portrayal of “Buz” with a different perspective than I had when I first watched the series in the 60’s. I realize now that George was not only a great actor, but was actually a role model for boys who were struggling for their identities during that time if they came from backgrounds like the character of Buz. Since my retirement I have watched these episodes again and again and have “surfed the net” to find out anything and everything I could about my all time favorite actor. I am very glad to know that he has enjoyed a long retirement and was doing well in 2007. I haven’t heard anything recently and can’t seem to find any current information as to his health and how he is doing. George if you view this please know that you are still remembered by many as a great actor even though you did not get the recognition or film opportunities you should have. I am a big movie viewer and have many actors that I think are great (Pachino, DeNiro, Hanks, etc., etc., )but none of them are any more deserving of recognition than you. I know, if given the opportunity, you could have achieved Oscar status. In my book you did. Don’t be shy about your age and making appearances. We all get older on the outside, but we remain young on the inside. You will always be “Buz” in my mind. I will continue to search for copies of the movies you did and purchase as many episodes of my favorite T.V. series (Route 66) as become available.
    Best wishes always from an old, old fan. If any of you have information as to where I can get current information or view a recent picture, please let me know. Also wondering, was there ever a biography done on George’s life? Is there a reliable source for purchasing all of the episodes George was in? Thanks in advance for any help.

  42. they just dont write shows like that anymore..too much sex and violence and miraculous explosions..todays producers could learn alot from Leonard and Silliphant. i bought the first two full seasons and i dont watch television anymore nothing but garbage on especially the reality shows what crap. long live Maharis and Milner you were the best and take a back seat to noone..

  43. I’ve got the DVD set of seasons 1 and 2. I watched the show when it was first on, but was too young to appreciate much more than that it was two guys in a cool car getting into trouble each week.

    Now… wow! What powerful stories and great acting. “Legacy for Lucia”, with Arlene Martel (best known for her gust starring role on Star Trek) was amazing. But George’s character was consistently honest, straight forward, and a heck of a role model for standing up for other people in need. (Martin’s character too.)

    Thanks for the great interview. I’m happy to hear he’s still doing so well. But I wish he and Martin Milner would hit the autograph show circuit… just for a year or two… so us fans could show them our appreciation in person.

  44. Hi,


    Does anyone remember this truly moving, George
    was TREMENDOUS, saga. about a girl wedged between beach
    rocks, as the tide was ever so slowly moving in ?


  45. Yes, Maureen, I remember the episode well. It was called Where I Am, There I Always Am. I have seen it several times as it served as the episode which pretty much wiped Maharis out of Route 66. In an interview conducted years ago, George Maharis said that the weather on Avalon was unseasonably cold and caused the hepatitis flareups which sidelined him the final four episodes of Season 2. You could tell how physically demanding it was for George as well as guest star Joanna Moore, who had to stand stationary in the ocean water. He only appeared in 13 of the next 21 shows before leaving the series for good.

    Personally, my 2 favorite Buzz episodes were Even Stones Have Eyes And A Birdcage On My Foot. They were 2 powerful, well acted and well written dramas dealing with issues which we still have problems with today. Highly recommended episodes for anyone looking to capture the true essence of Route 66.

    Mark Gaston
    Oxnard, CA

  46. I will never tire of saying to the four winds, that our generation (I am 50 years) are better people because during our childhood and our teenage years, look like Route 66 series.
    At present, both the film and television leads people to be worse before, the message was to make us better.

  47. George where can we get an autographed picture of you? I grew up with you in 60’s we never missed a show, in fact someone from Scotia HS was in one of the episodes filmed in Watkins Glen, we were so jealous. Oh what I wouldn’t give to me you or talk to you. Your still a doll to me. Do you ever come to Saratoga NY for the races??

  48. Ron:

    You made one of my dreams come true. I wanted so much to know what had happened to George Maharis after many years. I loved him. Back in the 60″s we had no way to know about our idols except by buying movie star magazines. I would buy them to seek for his pictures. A friend of mine gave me one of his records: George Maharis in Portrait, I still have it.

    I saw the picture where he’s 80y/o and he still looks great.

    I want to send him my greetings and let him know he was very important in my life and how I grew to become the woman I’m today.

    Thank you Ron.

  49. I can’t recall the plot line, but I remember the title — and that when the story was done I had chills down my then 10-year old spine.

    Kiss the Maiden All Forlorn. Route 66, 1956.

    Isn’t it interesting that the viewing public has now been conditioned to short bursts of visual entertainment — scenes so visually fast paced (4-5 secs max between scene cuts), for fear we may grow bored.

    Route 66 was in a better time. When we weren’t taken for easily distracted boobs. Oh how I miss just savoring a good story line like the ones on that show.

    Thank you, George Maharis, for the wonderful memories.

  50. Oh…and I’m reminded of one more thing.

    What do George Maharis…Tony Bennett…and little ole’ me have in common??

    We are all born in Astoria, Queens, NYC.

    (I was always proud of that coincidence in my younger years. My neighborhood was in the shadow of the Hellgate Bridge and Astoria Park. I often wondered whether George Maharis played on the those same streets 20 years before me. Astoria — once the largest Greek community outside of Greece.)

  51. Hello Mr. Maharis,
    Hope this note finds you well. Like you, I am very proud of my Greek heritage. Actors like yourself come around once in a lifetime and I am priviledged to have be able to view your remarkable career over these many years. Im not quite sure of the exact year (1960)? Route 66 was being filmed in Pittsburgh Pa and the surrounding area. My wonderful father Jim, whom by the way was VERY proud that a Greek American was starring on a Mega-Hit TV show, was working for a Pepsi Cola manufacturing plant in Franklin Pa, just a short distance North/East of Pittsburgh. This manufacturing plant was also owned by Greek Americans. He remember’s one of the family’s son’s, Connie arriving to work one day in a new Corvette. When asked by his parents who owed the vehicle and where did it come from Connie stated “Can you believe it, this is George Maharis’s car”. He drove that car up and down every street in Franklin for hours telling everyone within ear-shot that he knew you and the Corvette was yours. My understanding is that the two of you met on the set of the TV series and became fast friends. My dad also mentioned that you may have met the entire family at some point and received a tour of the Bottling Plant. After my dad shared this story with me I was hooked. I have followed your career over the years and what a WONDERFUL and REWARDING career it has been. I truly admire you Mr. Maharis. You stood up for who you are and what you believed in. You didn’t cower and hide. You didn’t take SHIT from anyone. Your a Mans-Man.

    Peter K.

  52. thanks for the great article. i like many other young girls was in love with george maharis. i was able to get his autograph when he was in paramus,n.j. promoting ” where can you go” i could barely stand much less speek when i met him.he asked if i was okay and kissed my cheek. i still have his albums and play them. i am so happy to hear that he is doing well. my then boyfriend ( later husband ) was jealous of him. thanks again george your music helped me thhrough tough times. carmen

  53. At present the films and TV series
    are worse …….. moreover, the world we live in and
    people who live there are much worse than those
    time Route 66 was our favorite program of the

  54. Is there any way I can send a fan letter to probably my favorite actor, George Maharis… because I’m a sentimental slob?

    Also, where would I go to purchase an original George Maharis painting?

    George, if you are reading this post, thank you for the years of entertainment.

  55. What a heartbreaker to learn the love of our teenage dreams was gay. As they say what a waste. The gay lifestyle is accepted now but was not then. Perhaps that is why George became a recluse after the bathroom incident years ago? He was a living doll and regardless we fans still love him and always will.

    1. What a stupid and insulting thing to say: “What a waste”.
      If only you could hear how disrespectful and self centered you sound.

    2. Not only is it an insulting thing to say, it’s monumentally ignorant. Newsflash Melanie: It’s not a “lifestyle”, it’s an orientation, just like being straight is.


  56. George,
    I, too, am happy to learn you are doing well. I was in love with you, too. Wouldn’t miss a show.
    Every Friday night; you were fantastic! Thank you so much for the wonderful shows. I am so sorry that you had to leave the show because of the long grueling hours you had to work. Thank goodness you saved your life I guess. Glad to still have you around!
    You’ll never be old to your fans. Love, Sue

  57. I was seven when Route 66 began, and from the start I was in love with him, not just because of his looks (!) but because of his virtuous character and New York accent. I wanted him to ditch Tod and take me along on his adventures. Because of George Maharis/Buz I couldn’t wait to grow up and have my own steady, handsome friend, which took some of the sting out of being “different” (the word “gay” was not in my vocabulary, nor, I think, in many others’).
    Very nice to know George remains a gentleman, intelligent, considerate, and doing well at 80. Best wishes.
    And don’t forget the Playgirl centerfold!

  58. Well, I’m 49 and I just finished watching the first two seasons of route 66 for the first time. I can’t tell you how pleased I am to here about some of your personal life. The show is really great and it does make you want to travel. I took an immediate liking to your character and you. Even now at my age to see you makes me smile. I hope you realize how important an impact you have made, and are making in peoples lives.
    Best wishes,
    Love tom

  59. Cool article! Huge fan of George and the series! They show it in CHICAGO every night on ME TV and I have some of the DVD sets. I would also like to send GEORGE a package. I met MARTY MILNER several years back with Kent McCord at the SAN DIEGO COMICON. My band, THE STARVING ARTISTS, recently played on a historic part of ROUTE 66 in Wilmington, Illinois at a place called DE JA VU ROUTE 66. It was like we were in a time warp and I posted some pictures on my blog. I am also the RANKIN/BASS Historian/Biographer (RUDOLPH, FROSTY, etc.), so I would like to let George know he is appreciated.

  60. I am a black woman who remembered enjoying Route 66 as a child but now I could not recall one episode. So I rented the whole series from the library and got a pleasant surprise. Not only were the episodes still relevant today, as Mr. Maharis noted, but I enjoyed the devoted relationship between Buz & Tod. An episode with Ethel Waters and a cast of black notable actors was done so well & without the stereotypical acting usually required of black actors of that era. I loved the psychological underpinings of the show & Buz was also my favorite although it could not have been possible without the sweet and gentle earnestness of Tod’s character. I also saw a photo posted of Buz in 2006 and he looked great & still had that shine. These were great shows with great lessons that made you think. In some ways, they were unusual & offbeat, right down to the titles. My hat is off to Sterling Silliphant and the guest directors. I loved this series. I hope George realizes how much he gave to us in this series.

  61. To consider all the stupid, uninteresting, badly acted and written with cero talent or imagination programs we have to watch today I think a remake of Route 66 will be VERY popular and even better with appearances of George Maharis as a guess star.

    I know this can’t happen but at list I like too see more repeats…Sad to say the only things worth watching on TV today are the series make 40 or 50 years ago!

  62. Hello Mr. Maharis,
    My name is JoAnn. Years ago I was a co-worker with your sister
    Mary at the Telephone company on Long Isand N.Y. I can’t tell you
    how happy I was to know her and I hope she is doing well. A long story
    short, she related that she had lost some of your memorabilia in a
    fire, and I was happy to replace them for her with photos’s I had
    saved as a fan of Route 66. I felt your program brought out so many
    intrigues that people have. The traveling, meeting people of various
    circumstances just seeing America. But I enjoyed Buz because he
    was so passionate about life and people. It’s my pleasure to be able
    to communicate with you and to say thank you for your excellent portrayal-and all the work you have done. God Bless your friend jo

  63. George’s 81st birthday is coming up soon, September 1. Does anyone know of his current mailing address so I can send him a card?
    This is a great forum. I’ve enjoyed reading everyone’s posts.
    Thank you, Ron, for the well-written article and for making this online forum available. I read your post about not being able to give out George’s contact info. Perhaps those of us who would like to send him birthday cards could mail them to you and you could forward them on to him? He’s made so many people happy by sharing his talents that it would be nice for him to know that so many of us have never forgotten him and still think of him with affection and much gratitude.

    1. I too would like to send him a BD card. I did for years and then the Mulholland address was not good and I guess he didn’t have time to let everyone know his whereabouts. I have his BD in my address book by his old address. If anyone can help us with a birthday card destination, please help us. Otherwise, Happy Birthday, George.
      My email is
      If anyone would have info.

  64. George,
    I hope you get to celebrate your birthday in a BIG way, with friends and loved ones. Please know that you have many “old fans” who are remembering that this is your special day, and wishing you the best.
    Hope you have many more! You will not be forgotten as long as some of us are still around.

  65. George, desde Peru te enviamos un fuerte abrazo por tu cumpleaños. Esperamos que sigas fuerte y tan guapo como siempre. Dejate ver y oir.
    Muchas felicidades en tu dia.

  66. Happy Birthday, George!

    I talked to Julie Newmar about being on “Route 66” at an autograph convention last Saturday. She knows today is your birthday too!

    Wishing you many more healthy and happy years to come!


  67. Dear George,

    I discovered your Route 66 program one night when I happened to be up very late. It was a strange looking scene in which you and Tod were driving on a rather deserted dirt road just beyond what looked like an overpass. You pulled to the side. The program was in black and white and if for no other reason looked surreal. Because of the time I was not able to watch further. However the bit of the program I saw was bait and I was hooked. I have been a fan ever since.

    Your character, you specifically, was fascinating. Everything migrated towards you and your charm. I loved, for instance, when you watched a talented woman or a woman who was simply beautiful, and you would smile and cock your head as if you both appreciated the talent and beauty and gave it your upmost respect and approval.

    It wasn’t long until I was searching the internet for information about you. The fascination grew. I eventually found this wonderful group of fans of which I am grateful to belong to. I also discovered a company selling all the episodes as a collection and I immediately bought it. Now I can watch the program without staying up to 3am. Haha!

    You have given me such joy. I was too young to take an interest in Route 66 when it aired. I was born in 1952. Maybe some day they will colorize the episodes. wouldn’t that be fetching?

    I proceeded to itunes to listen to your recordings, and couldn’t find them. I immediately contacted them requesting that they add your music to their lists. I will keep after them until they do.

    I understand it’s your birthday today. I wish you good health and a happy day. If I were asked who I would want to meet, it would be you. Thank you again for all you’ve given to us, your fans.

    My deepest regards,
    Deborah Teixeira

    ps- So far my favorite episode is Birdcage. I have more to watch and reserve the right to change my mind!

  68. tengo interes de adquirir los capitulos de la serie ruta 66 por favor informarme sobre costo y condiciones. gracias

  69. Para Luis A. Ruiz
    Luis la serie de Ruta 66 la puedes conseguir en Amazon y en este web site que se llama WWW>Yestervideo.com. el precio aproximado es de 45 dolares mas costo de envio y si no me equivoco vienen 4 capitulos. Esto es dentro de los Estados Unidos. No se como sera si estas en algun otro pais.

  70. I can’t believe it was possible to find this web site. Route 66 was an absolute must for my friends and I during high school. We even postponed dates till after the show went off. I will have to investigate purchasing the DVDs, but my favorite episode was “even stones have eyes”. Hope you continue to enjoy good health and thanks for the pleasure you and Marty gave us.

  71. Thanks for a great article. Lucky me…. a local low-power station here in South Bend, IN (WMYS – 69) is running reruns of Route 66! Heaven!

    The America I grew up in, and that sadly, we’ll never see again.

  72. I was thrilled to find the new Route 66 DVD and wish I could enjoy more of the episodes with George Maharis. I was a young teenager when they first came out and am amazed at the depth of the story lines for the time. I guess as a kid I didn’t realize how serious so many of the subjects actually were. I haven’t purchased Volume Two yet but certainly hope more of the original episodes are released. Thank you to all involved for giving us such wonderful material to enjoy again – but most of all, thanks to George Maharis and Martin Milner for bringing us Buz and Tod.

  73. Every day in the mid sixties I came home from high school to watch reruns of Route 66. I was in love with you both but especially Buzz. What a thrill to find the series on dvd. I forgot it was in black and white but was thrilled to recognize what got me thru those difficult years of high school. The drama was a bit much but the message was clear and good. And the travel all over the country was thrilling. Still is. Thanks for fueling my imagination.

  74. Hi, great interview. Someone please tell Mr. Maharis that we don’t care if he is 80 now, we the fans would still love to meet him. Adam West and other people from the shows of the 60s are doing conventions etc and the fans love it. Us fans have gotten much older ourselves. I would love to be able to meet George Maharis!

  75. Hi, I was a little girl, when I started to watch the show back in Mexico, I remember I was in love with George and Martin, but my favorite one was George, I was like 6 yrs old, and I remember getting out of my house , looking at the distance and hoping that one day I would meet George, now I live in Las Vegas, NV, and I still have hope of meeting him, I wish him long life, and I would like to let him Know that even if he was 200 yrs old, he will always be in my heart, and he will always be the same for me. I work at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, and I still hope that one day, I will see him come into the casino, and meet him. Why not? I am looking forward to see his paintings, that’s how I’ve gotten into this page. God Bless you, and your family George.

  76. we need a recent picture of you because you and me are about the same age i want to know if you aged right along with me send me you picture

  77. About 12 years ago I became interested in Route 66, and drove the Illinois and Missouri segments with some buddies from college. This last summer I was driving 66 through Arizona, and in one of the curio shops I came across the DVD set for the Route 66 TV show, which I had never heard of since I wasn’t born until a year after the show ended. Curious, I bought the DVDs.
    I immediately fell in love with the show, its spectacular on-location shooting, its willingness to portray real people with real-life problems, and the willingness of Tod and Buz to take time to help these folks. Of course, it all ties in with the “wandering” theme of Route 66 – taking time to enjoy the journey along the way, as opposed to today’s hectic schedules and people’s increasing disconnectedness from one another.
    The best part of the show, of course, was George Maharis. I don’t know whether it was his talent for acting or his intense personality and zest for life, but the show just wasn’t the same after he left. Mr. Maharis, I know you’ll probably never read this, but I sincerely look forward to meeting you someday, either in this life or the next.

  78. How awesome to finally express who it was; the heartthrob of my youth!

    I for sure remember Route 66! My parents took such delight
    to see me run to the t.v. and kiss…guess who? Ew-la-la,
    George Maharis!

    Ah, bliss and yes, memories of a “child”, perhap. Now, as grown woman, at 60, ah, double that! For sure, from this artist’s eyes, not another man to exist that had such beautiful form, such sensual smile, the most gorgeous face and body and for real, all photos I’ve seen and as preteen, teen, young woman, mother, grandmother, and as artist~all through, amazing that Mr. Maharis, still to me; beat-beat goes my heart! He is the epitome I have said to my 3sons of what appeals to me even now at my age, for they have known all through their lives of what their mother believes epitimizes man to look like, gentleness to watch, kindness to hear,
    and good soul, to elevate…all those sitting near, that simply; turned on t.v! Ya see what ya get, and we did, and possibly what formed our generation not to forget; “love one another” no matter what!

    Thank you Mr. Maharis you actually helped me form in my life exactly what type of man I should look for. Hmm, and while still looking, for the cookie-cutter-look-alike, haven’t a clue where to search, can’t find “him” anywhere, drats! However, your acting was so off-the-cuff, so simple,so casual, with no effort it seemed whatsoever. Yet, charasmatic, energetic, actually, from early on, you lit the screen!

    Thank you Dear Kind Sir I wish you well all through life and just know you have been missed, and oh, how I cried and cried when one day you were not there, my parents totally felt helpless, how to console my loss, for nothing could take your place! What a compliment for fine acting and your roots and genetics too.

    So, we all thank your family for giving us “you”! God Bless!

  79. Nice Donna.!!!!
    DEjame decirte que por siempre me encantara George, yo no se porque pero ultimamante pienso en el todos los dias. Dios lo conserve bien de salud ahora que ya tienen 81 años. Increible tanto tiempo que lo tengamos, ojala se deje ver no importa los anos.

  80. I’m same age as George and watched every show way back when.
    I have all 116 shows on DVD and am on my 3rd. time through them since Christmas 09. “BEST TV SHOW THAT WAS EVER MADE” and I always thought Milner and Maharis was the right match. Salt & Pepper.
    LISTEN UP YOU 66 FANS AS I NEED YOUR HELP: I’ve been a freelance comic strip creator over the past 35 years and am working up a weekly comic strip feature series, “Route 66” for newspapers. Humorous, but a salute to Todd & Buz and the Mother Road, Route 66. Am offering it to just the newspapers on the old 66 to begin with, but like Todd & Buz, we could drift into your town’s local newspaper…if wanted. I also plan to involve “readers” of the strip by drawing them into the artwork if they provide a picture. BUT HOLD UP THERE, the “Route 66” comic has gotta be taken by several newspapers as a weekly FIRST! No big deal but if you like the idea, e-mail me at bunch51@yahoo.com and let me have your thoughts, good or bad. God bless ya’all

  81. Always thought George Maharis was the spittin image of Jack Kerouac the beatnik writer of “On the Road” fame who was called by Salvadore Dali “the most beautiful man in the world.”

    As I’m Greek my whole family took extra pride in Mr. Maharis’ acheivements and we especially loved “Route 66.” Saw every episode but when George left the “soul” left that show.

    I caught the show on re-runs about 10 years ago and was quite impressed with how well written it was and the cinematography.
    Great location shots-
    Rock on. Mr. Maharis!

  82. I like that interview with George Maharis and his days of working on the Route 66″ tv series. It’s nice when an actor can open up and tell his heart-felt thoughts about the tv series he worked on. I am surprised that Martin Milner and George Maharis had not reunited on another show later as a guest spot. They were both in the same tv-movie, “SST: Death Flight” (1977-tvm), but I do not know if they were in the same scenes together. As of this writing, it is available to see on You Tube through the Mystery Science Theatre 3000 program.
    I got hooked on “Route 66” when it was shown in syndication during late night in the 1980’s. Now I can watch the complete seasons on DVD. Still watching Season One myself.
    May George Maharis and Martin Milner stay in good health.

  83. My wife bought me the entire 116 episodes of “Route 66” on DVD, 24 of them to be exact in 2009. There were 4 or 5 episodes on each disk and somehow, someway, disc #9 got lost, I can’t find it anywhere.
    She bought the set from a gentleman who had recorded them from “Nick at Night” and I would like to purchase the missing programs.
    Trouble is, we have no record of this gentleman’s name or address so I could sure use some help or advice.

    1. You can buy the Route 66 tv series at Amazon.com on professional, high quality DVD. Every episode has been digitally remastered from the original 35mm film print. These are NOT copied from television or You Tube. These are from the actual negative print. You can buy them from Amazon.com at a low price at this time. You can buy them brand new or buy them in their sellers department for almost new and used.
      You can buy a Complete Season Set or just half a season known as a Volume. The Volumes and Sets also have Bonus Features you won’t find anywhere else.

      Route 66 Season 1, Vol. 1 $23.49
      Route 66 Season 1, Vol. 2 $21.99
      Route 66 Season 3, Vol. 1 $27.49
      Route 66 Season 3, Vol. 2 $27.49

      Route 66 Season One Complete Set $23.49
      Route 66 Season Two Complete Set $32.49
      Route 66 Season Three Complete Set $33.49

      Route 66 Season Four is not available yet.

      (Prices are subject to change)

      Hope this helps you, Ross Bunch.

      1. Thanks, James, but all I lost was 4 shows on one disc. Trying to locate the gentleman I bought them from, a Mr. Kendall Calvert.
        He got them off “Nick at Night” and they are fine. THANKS!

  84. Every once in a while I come to this site to see all the new messages hoping that one day George Maharis writes to all his fans a message and share his feelings about all our admiration and gratitud for those wonderful years he gave us in the show. Now I know I was not alone day dreaming about him, admiring his great looks and wishing as many of you to find him in my way some day. I really wish he would respond to all of us.

  85. Hi Carmen! Well, you’re not alone, because I keep hopping in here hoping for the same thing! But being that he doesn’t own a computer, I doubt very much if that will happen. Still, like you, I wish a friend would tell him about this site and have him just write a little something to all his fans who still support him. Wishful thinking I guess…I saw some pictures of him taken about 2 years ago and he’s still a handsome man, he has aged very well. I always dreamed of meeting him someday and had an opportunity a few years ago when he had an art showing in Rochester, NY. But I didn’t get to go and my hopes were dashed once again.

    Oh well, at least I am in touch occasionally with a friend of his and she lets me know what George is up to and I get small glimpses into his life, but she can’t tell me too much because George is a very private person who doesn’t let too many into his life. I have written him letters and I still send him cards on his birthday and at Christmas, so at least he knows I exist. So I keep on hoping that maybe someday our paths will cross.

    1. Do you have a current address for sending cards or letters? The last one I had on Wilshire Blvd. is no longer valid, as I had mail returned. I don’t expect any answer from George, and am not asking for a home address, just a mailing address where he could receive my good wishes.

    2. I will only ask you a question because Ive sent him a birthday card to his bussiness address and I WONDER If he received it IS there a way of knowing it? I WILL appreciate your information if you have any I live in Argentina and I am a fan since I was fourteen and had the chance of seeng george twice when he came to my country to sing at a theatre and in other place ITS a pleasure to write you here and thank you ALICIA

  86. I too would like to know how George is doing. I once had an address and sent him cards on special occasion. Then one came back with no forwarding address. Would love to be able to have a current address to send him good wishes. I don’t expect a response, but would like for him to know how much he is still remembered and loved. Does anyone know even a P.O. box where he could receive mail? I don’t expect a personal address.

  87. It is obvious that the guy do not want to live in the pass, the series was nice but is finish now in fact have been for a long time, live him alone with his future.

  88. I haven’t been told not to share this, so here goes – this is his business address – any mail sent to Mulholland Drive will come back to you.

    9401 Wilshire Blvd.
    Beverly Hill, CA 90212

  89. To my way of thinking, BUZ MURDOCK is now playing the part of GEORGE MAHARIS. Deep inside himself George really was Buz.
    His manners, speech, and eyes-facial expressions were not “acting.”
    I am 80 and have seen tons of actors, movies, tv programs, et al, but GEORGE MAHARIS was, and I think still is, in all reality, BUZ MURDOCK.
    Yes, better than even Bogart.

  90. Thanks, “Anonymous”, for giving us George’s business address. (I’m guessing it’s his lawyer’s office.)
    There’s a very special event in the L.A. area (Chino Hills) in early June. It’s a car show/fundraiser for the school that Steve McQueen went to as a teenager (“Boys Republic”)… a school he credits with straightening him out so he could do something with his life.
    I have a gut feeling that it’s the kind of event that might appeal to George, since I feel that he and Steve McQueen share a no-nonsense attitude towards life.
    Who knows. Maybe I’ll get lucky. Steve’s son, Chad McQueen, will be at this event too.

  91. D Tex, you have a good point there. I was thinking more about the “kids staying out of trouble” than “Steve McQueen” thing. But, it’s been a long time since George’s Hell’s Kitchen days.

    Meanwhile… for those whose interests include Route 66 and not just George… I just got news of the annual Route 66 Festival, scheduled for June 17-20 near Joplin, MO. Here’s the news article sent to me by the Historic Route 66 Federation…

    (Oh…. and I see that artists will be amongst the vendors. *wink*)

    National Route 66 event to be staged at casino


    (Comment has been trimmed … story is already on the front page of Route 66 News — Ed.)

  92. This really is AWESOME!!!! First-off, I’m amazed there’s people out there who hold the same line of thinking. I’ve always said the quality of writing of today does not compare to TV series’ like “route 66”. Perhaps I could be wrong, still as one blogger said earlier, the emotionalism projected by today’s writing just doesn’t cut-it! Back in the early ’90s Columbia House was selling selected episodes of the TV show. I WAS EXCITED as I watched them. Though they were on VHS, they delivered good audio as well as video. NOW they’re on DVD-which is much better!!!
    Secondly, the acting by George Maharis and Martin Milner is 5-star!! As I mentioned before, the writing is superb. Stirling Silliphant and Herb Leonard were great people for their creation of this series-as well as the crew of approximately a hundred people who made it possible!! Working for a utility company, I came in contact with technician from Youngstown, Ohio (and at that time I just had read interviews by George and Marty on Route 66 Magazine) and this prompt me to ask him if it was true, was it like a circus coming into town when they came to film, “OH YEAH” he said, “it was-you should’ve seen, it was a BIG DEAL alright”. Imagine your town being national TV( CBS was carrying the show on Friday evenings)
    Finally, I’m glad this fine actor is in still with us and in good health! I hope the same is for Martin Milner, heard he dropped-out of a radio show in San Diego, CA due to health reasons. I still hope to meet them somehow and personally say how much I appreciate their contribution this great show of yesteryear!! Also, thanks to “anonymous” I will write to Mr. Maharis to this address.


  93. EASTER SUNDAY and I was just thinking about how “Route 66” was so outspoken back then about God, Jesus, Bible verses and so on. Tod and Buz actually “dared” to pray to God, ( remember when Buz asked God for his sight back? ) and were quite comfortable around Catholics, Protestants, and those of the Jewish faith ( attending a young boy’s Bar Mitzvah ) in one show. They always showed respect for people of all nationalities, color, you name it. It was never made clear if they attended church on a regular basis but, in my mind, they LIVED the life.
    Sure, they argued and got sore at each other now and then but what good friends wouldn’t when together 24/7? Try to think of any tv show that has, or dares to have that kind of down to earth class on tv today. Yeah, you can now hear God or Jesus in conversations, but strictly as “slander.” “ROUTE 66” was one of a kind…a good kind.

  94. I just found this article about George Maharis, and after many years of not knowing what happened to him, I was happy to know that he is still alive! George was my first and most serious Celebrity Crush. I never missed a show on Friday nights, and both every record he ever recorded. I played ” Teach me Tonight” until my Father broke the record in half. I tried to run away to New York City to find George, my Dad bought me another record, and I promised not to play it quite so often,
    I am now 64 years old and am a Grandmother. My Grandchildren think Nonna is a little nuts when I tell them about the TV show and George. I think it’s a little sad that they will never know the absolutely great time it was to watch this show.
    I wish George many more years of health and I hope Happiness!!!!!


  96. HI George,

    I am glad you are still with us, I hope you are feeling well. Your fan always. If I saw you in person, I would like into your eyes and STILL see that fine as man. God bless! : D

  97. Great interview. I wish we could turn back the clock to those happy Route 66 days with good TV and a more sane society. God, how I yearn for it.

  98. Happy Birthday George! We, your devoted fans has not forgotten that Sept. 1 is your birthday. I hope you are having a great day and enjoying life to the fullest. Even though you don’t have a computer, am hoping you have a friend who will convey my best wishes to you.

    Your friend from Vincennes,



  100. Whoops, I didn’t realize that it is after midnight and so it is Sept. 2 instead of Sept. 1, but I hope you had a great birthday yesterday.



  102. George
    Mis saludos para ti por tu cumpleaños lo puse en mi Facebook.
    I lovr you George.
    From Peru Happy Birthday!!!!!

    1. I lived in Phoenix,AZ when the Route 66 crew came through to film an episode. I had a 1958 Corvette, Charcoal Grey, because they did not offer Black that year. I had been watching the show and was thrilled that I would be able to actually see them perform in real life, as I was a really big fan of George Maharis. I also admired Martin Milner, like for his role in “Mister Roberts” with Henry Fonda. I knew the Corvette was light Blue and recognized the fact that they changed it each year with the new model which took some of the time effect off of the program. How could they afford to get a new Corvette each year? I am sorry that George was not offered more movie roles as I believe that he was a fine actor. I noticed in the local paper the other day that he just turned 82 years old and I am 74, so back in 1960 something he was only 8 years older than me. I plan to get the DVD’s from Amazon and enjoy reliving those past times.
      Thank You, Thank You So Much!

  103. What a nice and insightful posting about George Maharis. I really love when you mention Maharis said he was unaware of “Route 66′s” impact on Mother Road tourism.

    Sure do hope more films can have impact on hotels in saratoga springs.

  104. Excellent interview! Now why haven’t I come across this before? I’m very glad to know that of 2007 he was still doing well. I interviewed him in 1986 and he made quite a positive impression on me.

  105. What an excellent interview of George Maharis. I loved him and thought he was great on “Route 66.” In this interview, he sounds like someone who has a full, still-very good life balanced with a respect for the accomplishments of that show, which broke ground at the time.

    I had also never realized that Buz was from Hell’s Kitchen, which has been my neighborhood for 17 years. Seeing this interview, I’m inspired to revisit many of the “Route 66” episodes as well as his other acting performances.

    Maharis sounds like a very classy, sophisticated, and nice man. Thanks for a great post!

  106. I have been watching the series on DVD and cannot believe how realistic it seems. It is contemporary in many ways, while it’s fun to see scenes with old telephones, typewriters, TV sets and the like.

    I knew Martin Milner better from Adam-12, but I am only discovering George Maharis here. Anyone know how to send him an e-mail “fan” letter?

  107. I’ve been a fan of Route 66 for many years. Since the release of Route 66 on dvd I’ve eagerly watched all the episodes and am anticipating a holiday on the historic Route 66 thanks to my cildhood idols Martin Milner and George Maharis. I liked Corbett very much but only in Adam 12, and Buzz Murdoch could only have been played by the back alley kid George Maharis. Thanks to every-one involved in the blog for terrific and interesting ideas on how Route 66 effected us each in our own ways.

  108. Thanks! I guess like all the other kids of my time
    I was always keen on watching Route 66.I am currently watching reruns here in San Jose,Ca.The reruns come on around 4:30pm M-F.
    Thank You, George and Martin_for being great role models.

  109. wonderful to hear that you are still going strong I was a great fan of yours I guess I would be about fourteen and I thought you wonderful in my own little innocent fashion nice to hear you are an artist I too sketch and write poetry as a matter of fact one of the short stories I wrote were influenced by the Route 66 series. Well God Bless and I do hope the series returns to our screens sometime again.


  110. My sister and I were just talking about the real Route 66 and can’t have a conversation about that without George and the TV series coming up. Glad to he is doing well. I was a huge fan.

  111. Dear George Maharis, Hello there. I am just a woman in her 50’s who still has a crush on you,and because of your preference in life – I imagine you to be more real an an interesting person. I met a family member over the phone (I once worked in a bookstore), with the original spelling of your name – I felt so good when she told me you are well. I want to say more but instead, I will apologize for my shared thoughts that are monotonous. Whatever it is worth… thank you, for you. Wishing you the best of health, happiness and peace of mind. I like many, miss you continuously. Love, Carla

    1. I am a woman in my 50’s, and I still care for him. I though, resent your comment. There is no waste in friendship, love, lust or partnership if that is what one chooses. It was and is his own life. You are complimenting him at the same time you take it away. Live and let live. I only find him more real and more or an interesting person..

  112. As a college drop out I hitch hiked it from Joplin to LA then in 2007 I did a campervan trip (too old to hitch hike) all the way to Chicago. You have no idea the infulence you and your wonderful series had on young American kids like me. Thank you George.

  113. Anonymous-August 3,2011
    I am among the baby boomers who spent Friday nights watching Rawhide, Route 66 and Twilight Zone with Route 66 being my favorite. At 10, I too was in love with George/Buz . My favorite episode was “The Quick and the Dead” and I would pretend to be the character Roxy who I decided married Buz. My bike was my corvette and I had a whole imaginary life for the characters. I recently watched the episode on RTV and enjoyed it as much as I did all those years ago. Thanks for the interview and I have enjoyed reading all the comments realizing I wasn’t alone in my love for the show!

    1. IS Anonymous your real name?!? As you see, my name is Carla. I too, did not miss a show. I will not continue my thoughts for the moment, just wanted to respond and agree. To nameless from faceless.

  114. Im just now seeing the Route 66 episodes on RTV; like GM says, they still hold up today, the content of them. I like the contrast of the leading men, and George was so handsome, so was Martin. There were many future stars in the episodes, but I like George the best. Thanks for the update.

    1. OPA!!! You are absolutely correct. i wish that George Maharis was given better opportunities in his craft, he so deserved. i do not believe all was his choice. I had seen photos that are perfect,yet, i feel quite guilty that I had seen them – for i do not know if he is aware they are out there…quite beautiful and real.

  115. It’s been fun reading all of these postings by folks who truly loved this great program, as well as the two fine actors who starred in it. It brings back memories of those wonderful Friday nights so many years ago. I really get a kick out of seeing all of the famous faces who crop up on every episode. Julie Newmar still stirs up my old heart after all of these times. My favorite episode is the one that mostly takes place on the roof top of a tenement in Philadelphia. Martin Sheen and James Caan we’re both in it.

  116. WELL BEFORE ALL I want to salute all the nice people of this blog that in spite of so many years have passed you even remember like me those wonderful times of our youth we will never forget but today and you all remember is avery special day because its our heros birthday incredible, but true HIS 83 YEARS OLD. OF course we wish him the best for today and always and thanks to him for every fantastic moment we had watching ROUT 66 As I live in other country I COUDNT EVEN GET THE CDS OF THE SERIEp

  117. …wishing you happy thoughts, happy moments. Dear Mr. George Maharis, HAPPY B – DAY. Stay well and more. Carla xo

  118. Happy Birthday George! 83rd Birthday today. Thank you for a lifetime of great memories. I have had a better life as a result of you in Route 66 when I was 15. I joined the Marine Corps when I read you were a Marine too. I invited you to my wedding in 1970, you responded with a card “I’m flattered but cannot attend” Thank You!
    Rich Bartole, San Diego, CA
    I would still enjoy shaking your hand some day.

  119. Best wishes to you George, for another birthday. Hope you see these postings so that you will know you are still remembered and loved by so many “oldies” whom you so positively influenced. I will never forget the special phone conversation we had a couple of years ago. Thank you for being so appreciative of your fans.

    Still your fan in Vincennes,


  120. What a wonderful interview, and a wonderful website. My mother allowed me to stay up and watch Route 66 when I was very young. I thought Mr. Maharis and Mr. Milner were beyond cool. It is wonderful to know that Mr. Maharis is doing so well. I have put ‘Traveling Route 66’ from Chicago to Santa Monica on my to do list. It is something I plan to do with my son and grandchildren.

  121. George you have nothing to worry about.I think you look even better now.We would love to see your paintings.I watched route 66 as a child with my father. You are correct the show still works. In these crazy times its great to relax with such good stories. Speaking of stories how about a book about your life? Im sure it would be a big hit. Really want to see those paintings so it would be great to include them. Hey how about your own website? Ok Ill stop now. Love ya.

  122. George, you have no idea how I anticipated Friday nights to watch you on Route 66. After all these years we are still in love with you. Your fans would love to have more contact with you, know you are OK and to see and possibly purchase some of your paintings. By the way, Happy Birthday a few days late, wishes for good health and please communicate with us.

  123. I just found this site while watching Route 66 on RTV. Like all those above, George/Buz was my favorite actor and character on TV. I couldn’t wait for it to be Friday night and nothing ever stopped me from watching the show. Thanks for the wonderful interview. Happy Belated Birthday, wishes for a great year and good health and would love to have an update. Thanks for the memories.

  124. George,

    Today I saw a Brown mercedes like the one you had in the late 60″s. I thought of you, Mary and Michael. I remember Mary and I having to squeeze into that car. It was made for 2 only. I also went to Hollywood a couple months ago and I did think back on those days to. Miss all of it. Hollywood has changed. I kind of went there to reminisce. Old times. Love all of your movies and do wish you had a page on fb to. A photographer friend of mine drove route 66 and took some really nice pictures. She absolutely loves all of your movies. I hope you get to see these things people post to you and about you to. Hope you are doing well,Linda

  125. Mr. Maharis, Enjoyed the 2007 interview & tidbits from the show, that we never knew back then. I was 14 yrs. when Route 66 started and got my Dad watching it and Star Trek. But I watched, because I was “in love with” the gorgeous Greek. I am now a great-grandma. One of my granddaughter’s is going to Greece next summer & I told her she must have gotten the love of Greece from me and to Google Route 66, to see why. I’m sure you have only become more distinguished with age, as most Greek men do. Hope to see you on a talk show, promoting a book or re-release of Route 66. Much love from your Baby-Boomer Groupies ! Carrol

  126. I have always been a ROUTE 66 FAN. I am now able to see all the shows on TV in a channel thant shows many old TV shows such as NAKED CITY, THE RIFLEMAN, THE SAINT and many others. I loved the character BUZZ MURDOCK and always thought George Maharis was a great actor. I am sorry he does not make personal appearances any more but after reading the articles, I am glad he is alive and well. I am also 80 years old and can relate to many of the stories. After he left the show, the character who replaced him did nothing for me. He was like a clone in the character Martin Milner portrayed. Thank you for a very interesting article.

  127. Loved Route 66 but something was lost when George Maharis was gone. Martin Milner was always great and so was Glenn Corbett but they didn’t have that “something” that Maharis had that made the show special. I have often wondered if Milner had any thoughts about the way Maharis was treated.

  128. Thank you, Ron, for that interview with George Maharis. I, now, watch every episode of Route 66, in the late afternoons, after doing my chores. I enjoy them so very much. evem mpw. What is Martin Milner doing these days. I gasped at George’s age—but, hey, I’m 71!!!

    I’m marrying a fellow (second marriage) from the 60s – never too late – you know..

    Thanks, again, for the report. I wonder how many episodes, this year, next year, they’ll show?

    /Alice Meyer – alice_myr@yahoo.com

  129. I wasn’t born until a couple years after the show had ended, and surprisingly have never seen any of the shows until METV Network started airing the series- albeit late, late nite (3am!). Fantastic show; and I truly believe it, along with other 60’s tv shows like ‘The Untouchables,’ ‘Perry Mason,’ and ‘Peter Gunn’ are becoming popular all over again not only because they are superior shows, but because people are sick of the crud that is aired in this day & age. Fantastic interview with Maharis; really gives an insight into the show & it’s cast that you just can’t find anywhere. By the way, just seen Maharis in an episode of ‘Police Story’…he has done a lot and has had a wonderful acting career. Thanx for this interview again… GREAT STUFF!!!

  130. Nice article. I lived in Mesquite Texas when the episode at the Mesquite Rodeo was filmed. Martin Milner was very unfriendly but George was friendly. Long story short, I talked my younger brother into calling George at the hotel he was staying at. I don’t how we got the number, but Geaorge actually answered. As kids we offered to buy him a gift. for a reason I can’t recall, and his autograph. He declined the gift but wrote us a letter which was very important to us because had never met anyone famous before. Even though the letter was written completely in his hand writing, he enclosed another envelope with his signature written across it. We cherished that letter until it was lost. I have wondered what ever happened to George, but never got around to inquiring until today.

  131. Hi George,
    Hope all is well yes I was one of those girls who waited every friday for you to come into her home.
    Even for a short time, it was fun to talk to my friends on the way to school about the Route 66 show. My sister thought I was nuts to be in love with Buz, who cares what other people thought even back then. Regards Joan

  132. I enjoyed this interview after discovering reruns of Route 66 recently. I was in high school when the show first aired, and Buz Murdoch ruined all other men for me for life, I’m afraid. I guess the fact that people are still responding to this interview 5 or 6 years later attests to the fact that those of us who were impressed by George in the 60’s have stayed impressed for a long time.

  133. Still in love with the man after all these years. I am now 61 but still think about George and what he does in his retirement years. I hope he knows how many fans he still has and that we all wish him well. I’ve even looked on Facebook, but as with most people of his generation, they don’t like computers and will never own one. Still, I wish he would keep in touch with us. We still care about him and would love to hear from him.

    1. I too feel the same. I am sure he knows how many people liked him and have missed him…and wish him well. I have seen photo’s of Mr. Maharis on line, that are beautiful, quite open and free of his lifestyle that had been posted( I hope he is aware of them being out there), I saw them and felt though beautiful and free, I felt it was private and his business. Unless he wanted people to see them is fine, but I felt wrong to see them without his permission. I wish him well and wish to he would show more of himself to the public…it is his right to privacy. I am sure he knows he was and is appreciated. it is not for his beauty, but for the person he is. Thank you…George Maharis.

  134. Route 66 was favorite show. I also was in love with George. When they shot the show in Pittsburgh, me and some friends went downtown every day hoping to meet him. We met two of his brothers and saw the Corvettes. One day were we in the hall outside Geroge’s room and someone came to give him something. After that person left, George asked us if there wasy anything he could do for us. There were about 6 of us. He invited us into his room for pictures and autographs. He is a very nice person and we all appreciated what he did very much.

  135. This was my absolute favorite TV show as a little kid. I totally idolized Tod and Buz and wanted their lifestyle (still do), freewheeling around America in a Corvette.

    It was such a cool, hip show, right down to the Nelson Riddle theme song. I’ve always been very surprised it’s never been resurrected as reruns anywhere.

  136. Used to watch Route 66 as a kid growning up in San Francisco. I don’t know if they ever shot any episodes there. Anyone know?
    After all these years it’s still my favorite show. Quality scrips and acting that have endured over half a century.

  137. So now it runs in the San Francisco area on the Retro Channel.. and I ended up buying all the series\episodes..

    And if George you are still around and kicking… and hopefully healthy… it was a pleasure to watch you in action again. I went on line to see what happened to you.. and found your resume’ of doings after leaving route 66…

    You were/are a talented man. and I still love Route 66…

  138. Route 66 was and is one of my favorite shows. I watch it today on the Retro Channel. Today (at 64), I still relate to what you guys were all about back then, especially you George, even though I came from a different background. I have a lot of respect for the person you portrayed and I suspect that you are very much like that person in many ways. Thanks for your contributions as an actor, take care and live long.

  139. There seems to be just a few episodes on youtube to watch. I’ve been watching “Gunsmoke” and decided to search “Route 66” and would like to know if there are places that I can watch more of “Route 66.” I’m on a fixed income that just makes ends meet If this is OK, please email brickboo2@yahoo.com and help me out with sites to enjoy this great, great show. I don’t enjoy much of what’s on TV today. Your help is appreciated. Thank you in advance, Boo Hargis

  140. George was “cool”, no doubt about it. And! as you know, cool is a power, a power only a few know how to use. I remember being under the Fulton Rd zoo bridge, in Cleveland, when George and Martin were sitting in the Vette. I was only a few feet away. 90 feet above them girls were tossing their lipstick tubes down on top of them -they hurt at that speed. Crazy but fun times.

  141. I am waiting for the 4 season boxed DVD set to arrive in late May 2012, when i was a kid in Phoenix we watched it on CBS KOOL TV the film was so clean and clear almost HD Quality as it was microwaved from New York accross the country, I hope the DVD’s were rendered from the original film at a HIGH RES Ratio ? becasuse the Nick at Night short run was poor quality, we remember several episodes filmed in Phoenix, one was set a few blocks from my home in downtown Phoenix near PUHS on Willetta and 7th street there were other episodes in Midtown Central Avenue, Camelback (Clowns Den) and Lake Havasu , dont think they filmed in Tucson, although Tucson has a few Fugitive episodes as well as Sherriff of Cochise( US MARSHALL)

  142. I caught the “A Thin White Line” episode and was impressed with how well the series has held up after being in love with it as a child. I still dream of having that model year Corvette. Now, after reading George’s interview I know light blue will be the color. Today is my 61st birthday and the likelihood is slim but a girl has to have her dreams. You guys were so cool. The clothes were cool the hair was cool the car was cool. Thought the comment by Mr. Maharis was very perceptive about the homogeneous character of cities now as opposed to then. Would like to have seen a recent picture him. Thanks for the beautiful dream Buzz. Love you.

  143. I am another one of the “adoring” and dedicated fans of Mr. Maharis. I was crazy about Route 66 when I was a teenager…..never ever missed a show. I had forgotten about him and the show until Retro TV channel in the San Francisco Bay Area resurrected the fabulous show and brought back many wonderful memories! You know what? I’m crazy about him and the show all over again! And the interview above was just so wonderful and enjoyable. I hope George knows he has many diehard fans out there who will never forget the indelible character he created in Buz Murdock. And we wish him all the best!!! Love you George!!!!

  144. My husband and I are 60 and don’t remember much about Route 66. Because of the premise and car, we did buy half of the third season on DVD recently and have been watching. Love, love, watching the now classic cars in the background and the story lines are good, too.
    I did wonder what happened to George and looked online everywhere to read something. Really liked this article. I wish he had a website or facebook account so we, his fans can hear how he’s doing. Thanks so much for the article!

  145. The lasting legacy of Route 66 for me, besides the great premise of two footloose guys touring the country in a Corvette, with all shooting on location, is the incredible writing of Stirling Silliphant. I didn’t know it at the time of the series’ premiere in 1960 (I was 10), but very few TV shows of the day dealt with such a wide range of social issues as honestly as Route 66. From drug addiction to racial discrimination, it was all there. I didn’t realize that the sponsor, Chevrolet, went to bat for Herbert Leonard with the CBS censors a number of times when they felt some story lines were too risque. The only other series doing similar work was The Twilight Zone, and Rod Serling has pointed out that the only way he could get his socially adventurous scripts on air was to do them as science fiction. In hindsight, I think these two series were instrumental in forming my social conscience.

    The other wonderful thing about Route 66 is that it has become a time capsule showing an America of 50 years ago that is now long gone. Their decision to film it all on location was brilliant. It should be immortalized in the Smithsonian for its historical significance for this reason.

    An ironic footnote: in the fall of 1963 I saw Route 66 being filmed on location in Niagara Falls, near my home town. I eagerly waited for the episode to air, but it didn’t appear when expected. It turns out the episode, “I Came to Kill a King”, about a political assassination, was scheduled for Friday, November 22, 1963…. You can’t make this stuff up. It eventually aired the following year, I believe.

  146. Wonderful interview! Always LOVED George Maharis!!!! His fans/WE will ALWAYS adore him!!!! He NEVERhas to feel shy about appearing in public! Would LOVE a chance to greet him in person once again. Saw him in Montreal at the Eaton’s department store. There was a beautiful, large Art Deco space there and it was used for his Public Appearance. It was jam-PACKED with fans and he was a HUGE success. Sending love and very kindest regards. <3

  147. I really wish George Maharis would come out and let us see him. I don’t care how much he has aged. My hope would be to see him someday like I have a some of the western men from back in those days. I was hooked on him back then and still adore him. I would like for him to sat down with people and tell us about those Routt 66 days and what he has been up to since then. The interview was very good. I was so glad to hear that he is alive and well. Come out George and say hi to the world. You won’t be sorry. You are still loved today. Ada

  148. Growing up Greek-American household in NYC, Route 66 was must-see TV and, what a crush I had on this man who it turns out was (disturbingly) only a few years younger than my dad. Seeing all the photos of him reminds me how gorgeous he was! I still have the clipped out photos of him from Playgirl. And how endearing his statement is, getting ‘shy about’ aging. He is still loved, young or old, gay or straight. I wish him all the best and hope to hear more of him and see some of his paintings as well.

  149. Is George related to Burt Reynolds? My brother thinks so, but I couldn’t find it listed anywhere. Thanks!

  150. 199. Bill Masterson May 20, 2013 Route 66 is now being shown on Me Tv in the Boston area from 3 am to 4 am.

  151. The route 66 TV series was instrumental in my traveling Route 66 for all these years. My mom, sister and I would watch the series religiously every Friday night. At 18 years old I even purchased an new Corvette. I did not travel 66 for many years but have in the last 20 years or so. There are still great adventures to be had on the old road. And lots of wonderful people to meet. Thanks Tod and Buz and Mom.


  152. Loved the show when I was a kid in Washington DC. George Maharis was wonderful in the show and was the real hottie of that show

  153. I’ve written a book that catches up with Todd and Buzz thirty years later. It would be great to send him a copy but he can’t be contacted. If he see this he can go to; Route 66: The Last Mile it’s been updated with a brand new cover. For further details, locations and availability go to; https://route66thelastmile.blogspot.ca/.

  154. I was like 5 years old when this show began airing and it is a scary thing when you remember details from such a young viewing age that stay with you for the rest of your life: Buster Keaton and Joe E. Brown and a dog named “Shaggy”; Buz going blind, falling into a lake and regaining eyesight; Buz getting punched out by a kid; an episode ending with Soupy Sales’ eyes bulging as the ether mask closes in.

    Now I’m 58 and over a few months have completed viewing almost every episode through the first 2 seasons. Tonight I saw that one where the kid punched out Buz [“Shoulder the Sky, My Lad”] and discovered Buz let him do it for a specific purpose. And the kid was played by Michael McGreevey, whose face I instantly recognized from viewing days when we were both much older.

    That’s one of the neat things about going back and watching this show, the history and roster of actors and actresses and character actors/actresses unfolding before your eyes. I mean one night you’re seeing a young and briiliant Steven Hill in the veterans home and next night you’re watching him in that beyond-incredible heart-wrenching scene with Christine Lahti in “Running On Empty”!

    And so many of them are gone now. Some long gone.

    As indeed is the character of all those towns and places Buz and Tod touched. Someone here talked about growing up in that era with those towns George alluded to. We’re on the same page.

    I could go on all night. Suffice it to say, George and Marty need to meet up and hit the circuit before they’re gone. There’s just too much appreciation to share–for them and us–and it would be a shame for that opportunity to pass unfulfilled.

    1. Hello Howard,

      I enjoyed your comment, you have it exactly right on how we all felt about the series, the message it sent, and it would be really great to see Marty and George
      together one more time.

      I wrote a book based on what happened to Todd and Buzz after they split up and was hoping to pass along a copy to George Maharis. Unfortunately, he is unavailable and
      may no longer be interested in the story.

      At any rate all the best and we’ll carry on the journey for them.


      Mike Clarke

      Attachments area

  155. #ROUTE 66


    Ever wonder what happened Todd Stiles, Buzz Murdoch and that Corvette after they left Route 66? You can find out in Route 66: The Last Mile. Come join the journey, it’s a great ride and a great read. Go to: route66thelastmile.blogspot.com for details.

    You can also visit the author, Mike Clarke, on Facebook for updates on his upcoming book, The Learning Curve, or visit it’s blog at clarkeae35.blogspot.com

  156. George Maharis appeared at the Hillsdale mall in San Mateo, CA in 1963. George looked worried when he saw how many girls there were. He ran towards the back of another store and didn’t come out. His fans were disappointed and left.

  157. more about my encounter with George Maharis…

    It was a scheduled appearance. His fans were in one area of one store. He just looked straight ahead: he didn’t scan the audience. I was to his left: he didn’t look in my direction. I was about 10 feet from him. He was in the store for about 2 seconds. He, along with the girls who were chasing him, ended up in a women’s clothing store.

  158. Good job, Ron! I fell in love with the show when they filmed two episodes in and around my home town of Carlisle, PA. We walked around the street where they were night shooting. We saw the two Vettes and George. Of course at age 11 I had no idea that Lois Nettleton and Keenan Wynn were such big stars and talented actors. The Vettes WERE a sand-brown. It’s funny how much that you remember!

    Perhaps 15 or 20 years ago one of the cable channels had just stopped running the show, and had just shown one of the episodes. So, I called and called and got a guy who was responsible for the video tapes. The owners of the series was about to put it all back onto the vault–I would guess they were preparing to market it in the new media of disc. Anyway he copied for me so that we were able to have a special family showing on a big screen set. I now own the complete series.

    1. He copied just the one episode for me. The whole series on disc was a gift from my family many years later.

  159. Well, Michael J., you would either have had to walk on that journey with “Buz Murdock” (George Maharis) or bought yourselves another car, as the Corvette belonged to “Tod Stiles” (Martin Milner).

    As I recall was the “Tod” character who was once wealthy, inherited only the ‘Vette after the debts from his benefactors were paid. “Buz” was the poor guy from New York’s Hell’s Kitchen.

  160. The Route 66 cast and crew came to my town ( a suburb of Chicago) to shoot parts of the episode “Voice at the End of thee Line” in the summer of 1962. I was only16 years old, but looked closer to 20 or 21. That summer i was working as a news photographer for our town’s weekly newspaper and was used to doing a little “gate crashing” to get my photos. When I heard Route 66 was in town filming, I went running over to where they were shooting on a residential street corner to get photos of “Buz & Todd” in action.

    After I talked my way past the police barricades and had been on the set for a few minutes, one of the crew members noticed me with my camera and tried to have me thrown out. George Maharis immediately came over and told him to leave me alone and that I “was just fine being on the set.” He told me I was welcome to take all the pictures I wanted” He was so kind to me, I think he realized I wasn’t as old as I looked and was a young kid just trying to get some good photos. He introduced me to some of the other production people and of course, the camera crew, which was really exciting for me He posed for me and made me feel so welcome on the set that day.

    Martin Milner was having some kind of issue with the director while I was there, so I didn’t really feel comfortable approaching him for photos, but Maharis was just great to me and I’ll never forget him, or that day on the set of Route 66! Thank you George for being so kind to a young aspiring photojournalist!

  161. Maharis cites Bob Morris’ death as the reason he got the role, but that can’t be right. Morris died in May of ’60, three months after ROUTE 66’s pilot had already been shot and in the can with Maharis. So while Morris may have been considered for the show, Maharis didn’t get the role because he died.

  162. What he means is that Martin Milner got the part because of Morris’ death. Morris was in the so called ‘pilot’ with Maharis in the Naked City episode ‘Four Sweet Corners’ and was set for the part of Tod Stiles when he died.

  163. more about my encounter with George Maharis..

    One of my sisters, who was 10 at the time, was also at Maharis’ appearance at the HIllsdale mall in San Mateo in 1963. She said that as soon as Maharis showed up, the girls started pushing forward, and that she thought that was scary. (I don’t recall the girls pushing forward). She said that George signed autographs for about ten minutes. (I don’t recall that either). We both agree that there were about 100 girls there.

    There were only about 7 or 8 girls who chased him when he ran away from the area where he was supposed to interact with fans… but he wouldn’t come out of his hiding place in the back of the women’s clothing store.

    My older sister, who was 13 at the time, was there too, but has no memory of the encounter with Maharis.

  164. Re: “Maharis said his favorite episodes included ‘Birdcage on My Foot,’ where Buz admits he was a former drug addict.” Actually, Buz relates the fact that he had a relative who was an addict who he had to help go cold turkey. Buz never said that he himself had ever been an addict. Route 66 is all-in-all the best show in television history. The scripts, locations, and acting are second to none. Rolling Stone just did a top 100 alltime TV shows list, and Route 66 wasn’t included. An egregious omission.

  165. Great interview about one of my all-time fave shows with one of my all-time fave actors. I am so sorry that MeTV stopped running it several years ago, but I recorded the episodes and then saved my favorites, which I watch frequently. One of them is “Birdcage on My Foot,” in which — correction to your article — George tells Robert Duvall’s character Arnie that he was once very close friends with a junkie who later died — not that he himself was a junkie. It’s a great episode not least because of the beautiful b&w shots of Boston in the early ’60s. Another winner is “Goodnight Sweet Blues,” a really touching drama that featured Ethel Waters as a dying singer along with jazz greats Jo Jones, Roy Eldridge and Coleman Hawkins in acting roles. George is so hep in this one — fantastic episode. Watching episodes of “Route 66,” you get a real feel for the America of those times. It was a far sweeter and optimistic place. I wish I could go back.

  166. In 1961, when I was a senior in high school I sneaked my way up to the rooftop of the Greystone Apts. (now a pocket park) at 11th & Pine Sts. in Philadelphia to watch them film a scene for”And the Cat Jumped Over the Moon” I was amazed that it took them about half an hour to film a scene that lasted 15 seconds. Viewing this episode, and “The Thin White Line” some months later I was disappointed that the shows had some unrealistic scenes like no self-respecting Philly juvenile delinquent would be hanging out on the roof of an 8 story apt., or a hot dog vendor being in a deserted warehouse district in the middle of the night. So much for my naivete about Hollywood. In those years, I never did watch many episodes as I was doing other things on Friday nights, and later on to college where a TV set was not always accessible.

    However, in the last few years I’ve become a big fan of the show and watched all episodes on RetroTV on a local cable channel. And yes, in the “Thin White Line”, they actually mentioned the true locations where the shot was taking place. And yes, almost all the bldgs. in “Old City” where they shot are still in existence although the occupancies have changed. And now I realize how great the writing was, and that for the time it was groundbreaking TV with themes of mercy killing, drug addiction, anti-war sentiment, and an episode with an all black cast. Hopefully, Rt.66 will continue to be shown on some cable channel for years to come so everyone will be able to see the USA as it really was in that era.

  167. I’ve written a book, Route 66: The Last Mile, that picks up Tod and Buzz’s lives 30 years later and puts them back in the car to finish the journey they started. It’s a great read and a great ride that I encourage everyone to take.

  168. As a 8 yr old boy l started watching Route 66 in 1960…..because I watched all the way til it went off air….I vowed to myself that one day I would have a 62 Vette…..so in 1974 as a 22 yr old I found my dream Vette in Charleston SC while in the Navy…..I still have my dream after 43 yrs….and drive it all the time……it’s now been modernized to all new things like a new car….still has the 62 Vette look

  169. Thank you for posting this interview. It is nice to be reminded of the generosity and forgiving nature of George Maharis. I was a young teenager, watching Route 66 and it awakened me, as it did many of us. I identified with George Maharis, realizing that I could leave a very difficult environment, and go to another place, make something for myself. I had to wait a few years, but the poetry and beauty of that program has never left m

  170. “A Bunch of Lonely Pagliaccis”, January 4, 1963. I don’t think the term “mercy killing” was actually used in the episode, but if you follow the story line to the end where the mystery of the murder is revealed, it is very apparent that it is a mercy killing by today’s standards.

  171. Hi, around 1962 or so, George did a Route 66 in Pittsburgh. My friend and I (15 yrs old at the time) put on our best outfits and went to the city to find him. We did at the end of the day of shooting when he came into the hotel he was staying at. He and his fan club were in the elevator going up to his room so they could interview him and my friend and I jumped into the elevator with them. He was great. So nice with everyone. Let us all take pictures of us with him. We also met his brother who was traveling with him while he was in our city – nice guy, not nearly as handsome as George but very nice. George had the most beautiful facial skin I have ever seem in a man. He was much better looking in person than he was on TV. He even wrote me a letter after that which I still have to this day. We also met his costar, Martin Milner and Lee Marvin who were also in that particular show. Good memories. Couldn’t get over how tall they all were in person, especially Martin.

  172. I’m responding to the comment in which someone wanted to contact George Maharis, but the response was that that info can’t be given out. This may seem a little stupid, but you have it. Okay, you’re a professional writer. And professional writers are given privileged contact. But what about writers who are starting out? How do they get the info that they need for what they’re trying to do? About five years ago I got the idea to write about my favorite show. I wanted to do fun facts, and trivia. And I wanted to review each episode. So what happened? I came to realize that in order for my project to work I needed photos from the show. My idea was to get a photo from a scene from each episode, if I could. I actually found the son of an actor who was in the show. I e*mailed him and explained what I was trying to do. And I ask him could he help me. He fawned ignorance and pretense, like he didn’t know what I was asking him. And then he goes into this thing about he had photos of his family but I couldn’t have those!?!? Why would I want those? I thought I made myself clear! I wanted studio photos. He was even in an episode. It’s a shame that professionals or whoever they are, forgot that they started somewhere too. I’m sure he knew who I could contact. How do other writers get their photos? People who had never written a book before and no one had ever heard of them!? My next step: the studio or who ever owns the rights. I’m happy that he doesn’t. I wish I had thought of this back then. I may not have wasted so much time. I

  173. And I’d add:

    Earline — You didn’t state your age, but I’d guess you to a be a 20-or-30- something…based on your assumption that you are — just because you are — deserving of breaks in life. Because, in your mind,EVERYONE around you but YOU — it seems — has enjoyed those breaks.

    In modern culture it’s a variation on what has come to be called “snowflake syndrome”. Your life matters, darn it, and why doesn’t everyone know it and help out?

    May I suggest it is time grow up a little more. Keep working hard and trying hard while not complaining. Your ideas, if they are good ones, will pay for themselves.You will then stand among those who truly deserve a prize. Life is fair that way. Good luck to you.

  174. I always wonder what would have happened if Burt Reynolds had accepted the role of Buz Murdock after Maharis left the show. According to Herbert B. Leonard the only actor he had in mind to replace Maharis was Reynolds however, Reynolds turned the offer down. “we tried everything to sign him, but he didn’t want to be another actor’s replacement”. Maharis was signed to do Route 66 before Martin Milner and the casting of the Tod Stiles role came down to an established actor, Milner, and a new actor who also audition for the role. The new actor who was under consideration was Robert Redford. Again, Leonard decided to go with an established actor, Milner. Can you imagine Route 66 with Redford and Reynolds? Source-James Rosin “Route 66 The Television Series”.

  175. I really enjoy the show oh, why was the kid watching in the old black and white TV sets with the picture tubes. I wanted to be just like them and also own a Corvette.

  176. 16 years after that interview, Maharis is 95 and kicking,

    1953 – on 66 as kid we went from chicago to la, 1954 back to chicago, mom died and 1956 back to la in 56, 1975 needles to santa fe, 1980, 1989, 2014 flagstaff to santa fe, the show captured life in USA before vietnam, country was going to go to the moon with JFK.
    then USA went downhill in 1963. nothing like it anymore


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