Actor George Gaynes, famous for his roles as the foster dad in Punky Brewster and funny man in the Police Academy movies has died.

In an interview with Variety, Iya Gaynes Falcone Brown, George’s daughter, confirmed his death in Washington.  He was aged 98.

He is perhaps best known for his role in Punky Brewster.

George played building manager Henry Warnimont, who becomes a foster parent and eventually adoptive father to an abandoned girl (Soleil Moon Frye).

Soleil led the tributes to her former on-screen foster father, saying he would always be “in my heart and soul”.

“The universe just gained a gigantic star. You will be in my heart and soul always & forever.  Your little Punky. RIP George Gaynes,” she tweeted.

Image Source: Getty Images
Image Source: Getty Images

George scored the Punky Brewster role after memorable performances in 1982’s Tootsie and in seven of the Police Academy” movies, in which he played the police commander.

Born George Jongejans in Helsinki, Finland, George was raised in France, England and Switzerland and later during the Second World war he enlisted in the Royal Dutch Navy.

After the war he travelled to New York, where he joined the New York City Opera.

Changing his surname to Gaynes, George married his co-star in the comedy The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd, Allyn Ann McLerie.

His last movie role was in the comedy Just Married alongside Ashton Kutcher and Brittany Murphy.

Gaynes is survived by a daughter; one granddaughter; and two great-granddaughters. His son, Matthew, died in a 1989 car crash.

Image source: Getty Images
Image source: Getty Images

Image source: Getty Images

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  • Aww, so sad, such a big part of my childhood.


  • A great actor and very funny.


  • A very funny comedic actor. Loved him in the Police Academy movies, could play dumb naive characters brilliantly.


  • yes wow! what an amazing age to live to anyway! R.I.P. YOU WILL BE MISSED.


  • 98yo- wow what a great innings. rest in peace


  • I was a huge Punky fan as a kid so remember George fondly. My thoughts go out to his family and friend. As Punky would say Holy Macanoli. RIP George.


  • Thank you for all your years. I remember watching him when I was a kid RIP


  • 98 years….thats a good long life.
    Cant complain about that but its very sad for his loved ones.


  • This is so sad. But amazing that he lived to be 98. That’s quite remarkable!


  • Its always sad when people die. The article brings back some funny memories. Condolences to his family.


  • Lke ir


  • I loved the Police Academy movies. He was a talented actor. Thanks for entertaining us over the years George. RIP.

    • I always made sure all my homework and chores were done early when those movies were on.


  • What an interesting life he had. R.I.P. George


  • That was one of my favourite shows. They don’t make them like that anymore!!
    Rip X


  • I read this sad news last night. RIP George


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