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Subject: Archive: George O'Hanlon, Feb. 11, 1989


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Actor, voice of George Jetson
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Date Posted: Monday, February 11, 11:25:40am

Movie fans know George O'Hanlon best as the star of Warner Bros.' live-action Joe McDoakes short subjects from 1942 to 1956. Television viewers recognize him as the voice of George Jetson in Hanna-Barbera's 1962 prime-time animated television series The Jetsons and its 1985 revival.

From the early 1940s, O'Hanlon was a character comedian in feature films, usually playing the hero's streetwise, cynical friend. He appeared in features for various studios while continuing the Joe McDoakes role for Warners. After the McDoakes series lapsed in 1956, O'Hanlon returned to character work, mostly in television (two rare post-McDoakes movie appearances are in Bop Girl Goes Calypso and Kronos, both from 1957).

Television

In the 1953-1954 season, O'Hanlon appeared several times on NBC's The Dennis Day Show. In 1957, he played Charlie Appleby on an I Love Lucy episode, "Lucy and Superman." In 1958, George O'Hanlon played a New York publicist for a fashion model, Loco Jones (Barbara Eden) in her the sitcom, the syndicated romantic comedy, How to Marry a Millionaire (TV series). In the autumn of 1964, he appeared as a cab driver in the thirteen-episode CBS drama The Reporter (TV series) starring Harry Guardino. In 1966, O'Hanlon appeared opposite Jackie Gleason as Ralph Kramden's loudmouthed "bum brother-in-law", on Gleason's first TV show of the 1966-67 season. He also made various appearances on ABC's Love, American Style, a series for which he wrote the screenplays and also directed several episodes.


In 1971, O'Hanlon appeared as a bear trainer on The Partridge Family, Season 2, episode 206, "Whatever Happened to Moby Dick?"

Writer

Apart from acting the comedian wrote screenplays and also wrote the storyboard for nearly all of the Joe McDoakes shorts. He also wrote stories for television series in the 1960s such as Petticoat Junction, 77 Sunset Strip and even wrote episodes for HB's The Flintstones. It is interesting to note that he also auditioned for the role of Fred Flintstone but lost to Alan Reed, however he was remembered when it was time to cast The Jetsons. He once said: "George Jetson is an average man, he has trouble with his boss, he has problems with his kids, and so on. The only difference is that he lives in the next century."

Personal life and death

O'Hanlon married Nancy, a fellow actor, and they had two children (actor George O'Hanlon, Jr and daughter Laurie O'Hanlon, a registered nurse). They remained married until his death.

George O'Hanlon died of a stroke on February 11, 1989. A few moments before his death, he completed his role as George Jetson in Jetsons: The Movie. According to voice director Andrea Romano, O'Hanlon had suffered a second stroke and found it difficult to read and hear and in the end he died in the recording studio doing what he loved.

At the time of making this movie and the 1980s TV episodes, George O'Hanlon had to record his lines separately, because at the time he'd suffered a big stroke leaving him practically blind and with very short term memory, so he had to have each line spoken to him so he could repeat it back. The film was finished in time to dedicate the film to O'Hanlon, along with Jetsons co-star Mel Blanc, who died later the same year. His interment was located in Pierce Brothers Valley Oaks Cemetery in Westlake Village, California.

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Subject Author Date
"Jane! Stop this crazy thing!"George JetsonMonday, February 11, 11:27:07am
I know to old audiences, he was remembered as 'Joe McDoakes' from those old theatrical short film series. ...But most remember him of course, as voice of 'George Jetson'.Monday, February 11, 01:04:50pm


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