On March 23, the world said goodbye to George Segal, who died of complications from bypass surgery. Starring in a number of television shows and movies, George developed an extensive filmography during his lifetime, but today, he is best known for his role as “Pops” on The Goldbergs.
Since George’s death, cast members and fans alike have taken to social media to share their tributes to the late actor, but many fans want to know how showrunners will handle George’s death on the series. So, how does Pops die on The Goldbergs?
How does Pops die on ‘The Goldbergs’? Season 9 will pay tribute.
On April 7, Pops made his final appearance on The Goldbergs. According to reports, cast members began filming Season 8 of The Goldbergs in August of 2020, months before the actor’s death.
Following the episode, ABC aired a 45-second clip in remembrance of the actor. While it is unclear how showrunners will write in Pops’ death, tributes to the actor prove that he will be missed.
A joint statement from cast members said, “On behalf of everyone at The Goldbergs we are devastated at the loss of our dear friend, George. He was kind, sweet, beyond talented and funny. George was the true epitome of class and he touched all of our lives so deeply.”
The statement continued, “It was an honor and a privilege to have him as a colleague and friend all of these years. It is no surprise to any of us that knew him so well that he is a true national treasure. He will be missed by all. POPS, we will miss your banjo playing and your infectious laugh. Rest in peace.”
The Goldbergs creator, Adam Goldberg, wrote on Twitter, “Today we lost a legend. It was a true honor being a small part of George Segal’s amazing legacy. 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…”
Actress Wendi McLendon-Covey also reassured fans who were worried Pops' character would be recast, tweeting, "And no, we would NEVER replace George in the role of Pops. If we get a Season 9, we will address it then."
Wendi followed this statement up at the Television Critics Association summer press tour in August of 2021, promising that the Season 9 premiere will address Pops' passing.
“Every time we open a season, it’s always a movie tribute [and] we are doing a movie tribute that actually takes us on the journey of where to spread Pop’s ashes,” Wendi shared. “So it is not only a traditional tribute, but it’s hysterically funny, and you will cry your eyes out ... Sean Giambrone [who plays Adam] and I could barely get through filming. And we’ll be mentioning [Pops] a lot during the season.”
Though Pops may not be on screen anymore, his presence is sure to be felt throughout Season 9. You can watch new episodes of The Goldbergs on ABC on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. EST.