'Punky Brewster,' 'Police Academy' star George Gaynes dead at 98

By Wade Sheridan  |  Feb. 17, 2016 at 7:19 AM
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NORTH BEND, Wash., Feb. 17 (UPI) -- George Gaynes, the actor known for playing Henry Warnimont on Punky Brewster and the confused Commandant Eric Lassard in all seven Police Academy films, has died at the age of 98.

According to Variety, Gaynes died Monday in North Bend, Washington with his daughter Iya Gaynes Falcone Brown confirming his death.

Beyond Punky Brewster and Police Academy, Gaynes was known for starring opposite Dustin Hoffman in 1982's Tootsie as the actor with the crush on Hoffman's titular female alter ego.

Throughout his career, Gaynes appeared on multiple television programs including Mission: Impossible, The Six Million Dollar Man, Hawaii Five-O and as mob boss Frank Smith on General Hospital.

Gaynes' Punky Brewster costar Soleil Moon Frye remembered the actor on Twitter Tuesday writing, "The universe just gained a gigantic star. You will be in my heart and soul always & forever. Your little Punky RIP George Gaynes."

Gaynes is survived by his wife Allyn Ann McLerie, daughter, granddaughter and two great-granddaughters.

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