George Maharis, who starred as the brooding Buz Murdock on Route 66 before he quit the acclaimed 1960s CBS drama after contracting hepatitis, has died. He was 94. Born George Maharias on September 1, 1928, in the Astoria neighborhood of Queens, New York, one of seven children to Greek immigrants. He attended Flushing High School and spent 18 months with the U.S. Marines. He aspired to become a singer but became interested in acting and studied with Sanford Meisner and Lee Strasberg at The Actors Studio, then did a parody of fellow Method actor Marlon Brando on the NBC comedy Mister Peepers in 1955. Maharis died May 24th at his home in Beverly Hills. George appeared in only two westerns both Spaghetti westerns in 1969: “The Desperados!” as Jacob Galt and “Land Raiders” as Pablo Cardenas.