Where Is George Maharis Today? Did Gay Stigma Damage His Career?
American actor George Maharis, 92, rose to prominence in the early 1960s after he starred in the first three seasons of the popular TV series Route 66.
But his rise was short-lived, as he stopped getting casting calls and received very few opportunities after his series departure.
The reason for his short-lived career in front of the camera was an incident where he came out as gay and disclosed his concealed sexuality. Fans continue to wonder where the gay actor is today.
Maharis Hasn't Done Anything Significant Since His Exit From 'Route 66'
After quitting the series, the actor showed up in very few acting projects.
According to IMDb, George's last few acting projects were in the early 1990s, including the movie Doppelganger (1993) and the T.V. series Murder, She Wrote (1990).
Since retirement, the former star has lived in Beverly Hills, overseeing his investments and creating impressionistic oil paintings. His paintings can be seen at the Elizabeth Collection in Rochester, N.Y.
Maharis Was A Closeted Gay Until Arrested
In an article from Walter Film, film critic David Ehrenstein noted that in his time, Maharis had a hard time coping with his sexuality — being his gay self — as an obligation.
The author also brought to attention how the times were different when Maharis was in his prime. At the time, the actors were obliged to stay in the closet.
In a time as bleak as the author described, getting arrested for having intimate relationships with men in restrooms most certainly wouldn't go well with one's reputation—especially for someone like Maharis.
Why Did George Maharis Leave 'Route 66'?
As to why George Maharis left Route 66, different parties have different things to say.
In a blog entry from a writer who once took to the road herself in an attempt to live the Route 66 life and pour her experience into a book, the author revealed that she extensively studied the show, but her book could not make it to print for one fine reason: moral quandary.
Apparently, she interviewed Maharis at a Denny's in Las Vegas, where the gay actor explained that he walked out on the show because of health issues. He added that the producers did nothing to make his life easier either.
So on his doctor's advice, he walked.
In another conversation the author had with the show's producer Herbert B Leonard, the exec. producer admitted that they were having a hard time keeping the fact that Maharis was gay away from the press.
Of course, the gay actor's public acts of indecency did not inspire any confidence either.
(Note: We have deleted some unverified claims on Maharis from this article. We are currently researching and will be updating this article soon with the right sources and narrative.)