Just Shoot Me stars pay tribute to former castmate George Segal: 'To be around him was a gift'
Laura San Giacomo, who played Maya Gallo, wrote an homage to Segal from his "Just Shoot Me TV daughter." Segal played Maya's father, Jack Gallo.
"I feel so lucky for all the times over the past 25 years that I got to sit next to George Segal, whether on a set or around a dinner table," Giacomo told EW in a statement. "His laugh was like a benediction. To be around him was a gift. I loved it all. All our moments together are just so precious to me — the stories, the banjo, his timing, his lightheartedness, and his love of acting. He brought his heart to everything."
"When he was delighted by something it was like mega wattage beaming out of him," she continued. "He shared his life with us and we were so grateful to be there for him. He shared his gifts with generations and we are all so lucky. Your Just Shoot Me TV daughter loves you."
In a story shared on Instagram, David Spade, who starred on Just Shoot Me from 1997-2003, recalled meeting Segal at the table read for the first episode.
"For those of you [who] didn't know, Just Shoot Me was a TV pilot that was already shot but I was added after the fact," he wrote. "I wasn't sure how that would work and if everyone would be OK with it. But they were all very welcoming and turned out to be friends for life."
"George was someone we all really looked up to," Spade recalled. "He had done huge movies and was already legendary when we started. I was always trying to learn from him. About acting, about life, anything. He would say that the show was 4 actors and a cartoon. About a week ago I realized I was the cartoon. ( true) I laughed the hardest with him. The show was a gift and it kept on giving after we wrapped. He will be missed by fans all over the world. #ripgeorge."
Brian Posehn, a.k.a. mall guy Kevin Liotta on the comedy, wrote on Twitter how he "grew up watching" Segal, noting his "total old school charm" and "effortless comedic timing."
"Doing scenes with him was one of the highlights of my life, but getting to know him a little and making the legend laugh was even cooler," Posehn tweeted. "I'll miss you, sir. RIP George Segal."
Other celebrities and members of the industry paid homage to Segal this week, including Adam F. Goldberg, who created The Goldbergs. Segal played the onscreen version of Goldberg's grandfather.
"It was a true honor being a small part of George Segal's amazing legacy," he had tweeted on Tuesday. "By pure fate, I ended up casting the perfect person to play Pops. Just like my grandfather, George was a kid at heart with a magical spark. I think these memories say it all…"
—Reporting by Ruth Kinane.