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Exploring the Iconic Role of George Maharis in Playgirl Magazine

by Server


In the world of entertainment and pop culture, certain individuals stand out for their unique contributions and influence. George Maharis is one such figure, known for his iconic role as a leading man in the hit TV series “Route 66” and later for his controversial photo spread in Playgirl magazine. This article aims to delve into the life and career of George Maharis, his impact on the entertainment industry, and the significance of his appearance in Playgirl magazine.

George Maharis: A Brief Biography

George Maharis was born on September 1, 1928, in Astoria, Queens, New York City. He began his career as a singer, performing in nightclubs before transitioning to acting. Maharis gained widespread recognition for his role as Buz Murdock in the television series “Route 66,” which aired from 1960 to 1964. The show followed two young men as they traveled across America in a Chevrolet Corvette, exploring different towns and encountering various characters along the way.

Maharis’s portrayal of the charismatic and adventurous Buz Murdock resonated with audiences, earning him critical acclaim and a dedicated fan base. His on-screen chemistry with co-star Martin Milner helped propel the show to success and solidified Maharis’s status as a rising star in Hollywood.

Route 66 and George Maharis’s Impact

“Route 66” was groundbreaking for its time, showcasing the diversity of American culture and landscape while addressing social issues prevalent in the early 1960s. The dynamic between Maharis and Milner’s characters reflected the changing attitudes of the era, with Buz Murdock embodying the free-spirited and rebellious youth of the period.

Maharis’s performance in “Route 66” set a new standard for male leads on television, challenging traditional notions of masculinity and paving the way for more complex and nuanced portrayals in subsequent series. His brooding intensity and rugged good looks captivated audiences, making him a heartthrob and a cultural icon of the early 1960s.

The Playgirl Magazine Controversy

In 1973, George Maharis made headlines for a different reason when he posed nude for Playgirl magazine. At the time, Maharis was already a well-known actor with a significant fan following, and his decision to appear in a publication targeted at women raised eyebrows and sparked debate.

The Playgirl photo spread featured Maharis in a series of artistic black-and-white images, showcasing his physique and challenging conventional ideas of male beauty and sexuality. While some applauded Maharis for his boldness and confidence, others criticized him for objectifying himself and straying from his established persona as a TV star.

Legacy and Cultural Significance

Despite the controversy surrounding his Playgirl appearance, George Maharis continued to work in film, television, and theater, building a diverse body of work that showcased his talent and versatility as an actor. He appeared in numerous TV shows and movies, often playing complex and multifaceted characters that defied easy categorization.

Maharis’s impact on the entertainment industry can still be felt today, as his contributions to television and popular culture helped shape the future of the medium. His willingness to take risks and explore new territory both on and off-screen set him apart from his peers and cemented his legacy as a trailblazer in Hollywood.


George Maharis’s career is a testament to the power of individuality and innovation in the arts. From his breakout role in “Route 66” to his controversial appearance in Playgirl magazine, Maharis challenged stereotypes, pushed boundaries, and left an indelible mark on the entertainment landscape. His legacy serves as a reminder that true creativity knows no bounds and that the most enduring icons are those who dare to be different and embrace change.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Was George Maharis primarily known for his role in “Route 66”?
– Yes, George Maharis gained fame for his portrayal of Buz Murdock in the TV series “Route 66,” which ran from 1960 to 1964.

2. Why was George Maharis’s appearance in Playgirl magazine controversial?
– Maharis’s decision to pose nude for Playgirl magazine in 1973 sparked debate and criticism due to his established reputation as a TV star and heartthrob.

3. How did George Maharis’s role in “Route 66” impact the portrayal of male leads on television?
– Maharis’s portrayal of the rebellious and adventurous Buz Murdock helped redefine traditional notions of masculinity and paved the way for more complex male characters on TV.

4. Did George Maharis continue to work in the entertainment industry after the Playgirl controversy?
– Yes, Maharis continued to act in TV shows, movies, and theater productions following the Playgirl incident, showcasing his talent and versatility as an actor.

5. What is George Maharis’s lasting legacy in Hollywood?
– George Maharis is remembered as a trailblazer who challenged stereotypes and pushed boundaries in the entertainment industry, leaving behind a rich body of work that continues to inspire generations of artists and audiences.

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