George Gerdes, a prolific character actor whose many credits stretch from Miami Vice and Seinfeld to Bosch and Broadway’s A Few Good Men, died Jan. 1 of a brain aneurysm suffered the day before. He was 72.
“George Gerdes has departed,” tweeted Bosch star Titus Welliver. “An actors actor and deeply kind man. Rest easy brother, we are fewer… ” Gerdes had a recurring role on the Amazon Prime series as the operator of a halfway house for Vietnam War veterans.
A singer-songwriter whose two albums of the early 1970s, Obituary and Son of Obituary, drew a small but loyal following for their offbeat humor – his “Hey Packy,” a love letter to a dog, was covered by Loudon Wainwright III in 1976 – Gerdes would go on to build a long career as an actor in often small but memorable roles. On Seinfeld, he played “Man #1”, a vigilante outraged over George Costanza’s treatment of the Bubble Boy, and on the 1994 X-Files episode “Miracle Man,” he played the preacher father of a boy with healing powers.
Other TV credits include appearances on Walker Texas Ranger, Picket Fences, NYPD Blue, The Practice, Lost, Grey’s Anatomy, True Blood and Brothers & Sisters, among many others. On film, Gerdes played the building super in Single White Female (1992) and a detective in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2011). Additional film credits include Amistad (1997) and Hidalgo (2004).
More recently, he played Dwight Eisenhower in the the 2020 sci-fi film The 11th Green.
On stage, Gerdes appeared in the ensemble of 1989’s A Few Good Men written by Aaron Sorkin and directed by Don Scardino. Off Broadway credits include Sam Shepard’s Fool for Love (1983) and, in 1979, Dennis McIntyre’s Modigliani.
George Gerdes has departed. An actors actor and deeply kind man. Rest easy brother,we are fewer… pic.twitter.com/oJ4heiCK1h
— TitusWelliver (@welliver_titus) January 2, 2021
My dear old friend George Gerdes passed away last night. He was a wonderful songwriter, poet, and actor, much beloved by everyone who knew him. You would have liked him, too. RIP, GG, from the old red lobster.
— Michael McKean (@MJMcKean) January 1, 2021
Beloved actor, singer/songwriter, equestrian and Carnegie alum George Gerdes exited stage-right on new year’s eve. Entirely non-competitive, mutually empowering—all what a rarity, now but a memory. The laughs come hard in auld lang syne. pic.twitter.com/Fb8vzWT3B3
— Van Dyke Parks (@thevandykeparks) January 3, 2021