George Robertson, a Canadian actor best known for playing the sheriff (and later commissioner) in comedies Police Academy series, died at the age of 89 earlier this week.
According to a family announcementRobertson passed away Sunday at the Sunnybrook Health Science Center in Toronto.
“He left behind a legacy of accomplishments—a stellar career in theatre, film, and television with more than 80 roles on both the big and small screens, most notably in the original and six sequels of Police Academy,” wrote the family’s online obituary. “He began his career on stage and worked successfully in the industry for the next 60+ years.”
While his most memorable role was as Sheriff Henry Hurst in the first six seasons Police Academy film (a character later promoted to police commissioner), Robertson has appeared in numerous award-winning films and television series throughout his decades-long career.
Besides small roles in Oscar-nominated films Norma Rae, Airport And JFK, he also specialized in playing historical figures in the last years of his life. Notably, he played Vice President Dick Cheney in the 2006 television miniseries Road to 9/11Late GOP presidential candidate Barry Goldwater on Showtime’s the Reagan familyand Arkansas Sen. William Fulbright in FX 2003 Pentagon Profile.
Other credits include the movie Goldie Hawn cheated (1991), political thriller Murder at 1600 (1997), and the teen comedy National Lampoon Premium Trip (1995). His last on-screen appearance was in the 2017 drama cradle to grave.
His family notes that Robertson received the UNICEF Canada Danny Kaye Award in 1990 after traveling around Canada and speaking to high schools as he was. Police Academy character. He was subsequently awarded the Margaret Collier Prize in 1993, presented to him by the Canadian Academy of Film and Television for lifetime achievement.
Additionally, he was awarded the 19th annual Gemini Award in 2004 for his “extraordinary compassion and community engagement (which has had) the tremendous impact on the lives of children in Canada and all around the world.”