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George Segal, a longtime movie star and currently grandfather on ABC’s “The Goldbergs” has died at the age of 87.

USA TODAY

George Segal’s last appearance on ABC’s “The Goldbergs” on Wednesday was characteristic Pops: a mixture of humor based on generational misunderstanding and folksy but legitimate wisdom, spiced with lots of heart.

The family comedy from the 1980s, now in season 8, closed with a touching 48-second video greeting to the longtime movie and TV star who died on March 23, 87 due to complications from bypass surgery.

When the episode ended, the screen switched to a message: Dedicated to our friend, GEORGE. This was followed by a series of clips with Segal in various scenes as grandfather Albert “Pops” Solomon, including some of his roles in the program’s signature films and TV remakes: Pops as Batman, Pops in a straitjacket, Pops as one of Ghostbusters – where his entertaining pop -culture cluelessness was exhibited.

“Who are you going to call? Ghost Fellas,” he said, slaughtering the famous slogan.

Fulfilled life: George Segal, a longtime movie star and grandfather in ABC’s The Goldbergs’, dies at the age of 87

The tribute also featured Segal on the banjo, an instrument he often played at late-night performances with his Pops, offering loving hugs to family members and in-depth advice: “If you just believe in yourself, as I do, you can not lose. ” The segment closed with a simple message on the screen: “We will miss you, George.”

“The Goldbergs” limited a long, successful film and television career for Segal, who received an Oscar nomination for “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” and starred in films such as “The Hot Rock,” “Blume in Love,” “California Split” and “Fun with Dick and Jane.” Before “The Goldbergs,” he enjoyed a six-season run on the NBC comedy “Just Shoot Me!”

In the episode that preceded the tribute, Segal’s “Pops”, father of Beverly and grandfather of Erica, Barry and Adam, had a typical small role measured in screen time, but size should not be confused with significance. Eventually, the character remained a charming co-conspirator of the aspiring filmmaker Adam (Sean Giambrone) – the youthful alter ego of series creator Adam F. Goldberg – who provides both comic relief and important life advice.

Wednesday’s episode opened with Adam recreating the innovative pencil-sketch animation of A-ha’s 1985 “Take On Me” music video starring Pops and mother Beverly (Wendy McLendon-Covey) as his co-stars.

Of course, Pops did not quite get the technology. “I still do not understand why we should be animated,” he said.

“No, I’m doing the animation,” Adam explained. “It’s called rotoscoping.”

“Does it hurt?” Pops replied.

“It’s a wrap for Pops,” Adam concluded.

Despite all the laughter potential, Segals Pops has always been a sage’s presence and founded a family of characters known for their whimsical aircraft. It came into play later in the episode when Pops acted as both a sounding board and advice as Adam tried to figure out ways to show his much less privileged boyfriend, Brea, that he was not a moderate mom’s boy.

“Instead of trying to convince Brea that you are not spoiled, why not show her by getting a (bleeding) job?” Pops suggested.

Adam listened and got a job with Brea in an ice cream parlor, but he hated the hard work and put together a plan to get Beverly to interfere, so he got fired.

“This is a huge mistake,” Pops said. He was right, as always.

Brea looked through the charade and left Adam without a job and (potentially) a girlfriend.

Pops were not happy. “You didn’t like working so hard, so you took the easy way out. Brea doesn’t like it. Honestly, I do not either,” Pops said.

In the words of the narrator, the adult Adam (Patton Oswalt), “Pop’s disappointment was a rude awakening.” The chastised Adam listened this time and got both his job and Brea back. Moral: Always listen to Pops.

At the end of the video tribute, Segal received one last honor, an appearance on executive producer Goldberg’s production card. Goldberg, who based the series on his own upbringing and often has family members in the final credits, closed with a black-and-white picture of Segal and him.

It was a deserved place for a beloved family member, whether it’s Goldbergs, “The Goldbergs” or the millions of fans who have enjoyed watching Segal through the decades in movies and television.

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