George O'Hanlon

George O'Hanlon

76 (passed away Feb. 11th, 1989)
Nov. 23rd, 1912
Born in
Brooklyn, New York, USA

George O'Hanlon's Main TV Roles

Show Character(s)
The Jetsons TV Show
The Jetsons
The Ann Sothern Show TV Show
The Ann Sothern Show
The Life of Riley TV Show
The Life of Riley

Main Movie Roles

Guest TV Roles

[none found]


George was best known as the star of Warner Bros.' live-action Joe McDoakes short subjects from 1942 to 1956. Television viewers recognize him as the voice of George Jetson in Hanna-Barbera's 1962 prime-time animated television series The Jetsons and its 1985 revival (incidentally, WB is the current owner of the Hanna-Barbera properties today).

From the early 1940s, O'Hanlon was a character comedian in feature films, usually playing the hero's streetwise, cynical friend. He appeared in features for various studios while continuing the Joe McDoakes role for Warners. After the McDoakes series lapsed in 1956, O'Hanlon returned to character work, mostly in television (two rare post-McDoakes movie appearances are in Bop Girl Goes Calypso and Kronos, both from 1957).

In the 1953-1954 season, O'Hanlon appeared several times on NBC's The Dennis Day Show. In 1958, George O'Hanlon played a New York publicist for a fashion model, Loco Jones (Barbara Eden) in her the sitcom, the syndicated romantic comedy, How to Marry a Millionaire. In the autumn of 1964, he appeared as a cab driver in the thirteen-episode CBS drama The Reporter starring Harry Guardino. In 1966, O'Hanlon appeared opposite Jackie Gleason as Ralph Kramden's loudmouthed "bum brother-in-law", on Gleason's first TV show of the 1966-67 season. He also made various appearances on ABC's Love, American Style, a series for which he wrote the screenplays and also directed several episodes.

In 1971, O'Hanlon appeared as a bear trainer on The Partridge Family, Season 2, episode 206, "Whatever Happened to Moby Dick?".

Apart from acting the comedian wrote screenplays and also wrote the storyboard for nearly all of the Joe McDoakes shorts. He also wrote stories for television series in the 1960s such as Petticoat Junction, 77 Sunset Strip and even wrote episodes for HB's The Flintstones. It is interesting to note that he also auditioned for the role of Fred Flintstone but lost to Alan Reed, however he was remembered when it was time to cast The Jetsons. He once said: "George Jetson is an average man, he has trouble with his boss, he has problems with his kids, and so on. The only difference is that he lives in the next century."

O'Hanlon married Nancy, a fellow actor, and they had two children (actor George O'Hanlon, Jr and daughter Laurie O'Hanlon, a registered nurse). They remained married until his death.

George O'Hanlon died of stroke on February 11, 1989. A few moments before his death, he completed his role as George Jetson in Jetsons: The Movie. According to voice director Andrea Romano, O'Hanlon had suffered a second stroke and found it difficult to read and hear and in the end he died in the recording studio doing what he loved. At the time of making this movie and the 1980's TV episodes, George O'Hanlon had to record his lines separately, because at the time he'd suffered a big stroke leaving practically blind and with very short term memory, so he had to have each line spoken to him so he could repeat it back. The film was finished in time to dedicate the film to O'Hanlon, along with co-star Mel Blanc, who died later the same year.

  • Had suffered a stroke, so when he made the later Jetson series and the movie, he was practically blind and had very little short term memory. He had to have each line spoken to him so he could repeat it back.
  • Has a star on the walk of fame at 6420.
  • His cousin Virginia is the subject of the famous editorial "Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Clause".
  • Was originally hired to voice Fred Flinstone for _"The Flintstones" (1960)_ (qv). However, one of the sponsors didn't think he was right for the part and he was replaced by 'Alan Reed (I)' (qv).
  • He started working at 16 with his own stage show, but was fired after a few weeks due to a fight over wages.
  • Father of actor/writer 'George O'Hanlon Jr.' (qv).
  • Actor/director/writer best known as Joe McDoakes in film shorts during the 1940s and as the original voice of TV's George Jetson from 1961 until his death.

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