George Segal passed away in March 2021 at the age of 87 from complications during his bypass surgery.
There are some couples who make us believe in love all over again. Their love stories are nothing short of a miracle and it renews our faith in them as well. Among these lucky ones are those who find lasting love with their first love and actor George Segal is one of them. He got not one but three attempts at love, and in the end, he found happiness with his high school sweetheart.
The Goldbergs actor passed away at the age of 87 in March 2021 after complications during surgery, and his beloved wife was with him till the end. "The family is devastated to announce that this morning George Segal passed away due to complications from bypass surgery," Sonia Segal said in a statement provided by Sony Television, as per CNN. The couple had been married for almost 24 years.
The Segals have an incredible love story spanning decades, almost as long as the actor's career. George and Sonia's love story begins at George High in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, according to NY Daily News.
When he saw the pretty blonde "from afar" at his boarding school, he thought, "I’m going to marry that girl," Segal tells The LA Times. However, they went separate ways when they graduated. She was waiting tables in Cape May, New Jersey, and he traveled cross country in a ’47 Chrysler. On August 5, 1951, he even sent her a postcard from Great Crater Lake in Oregon with the message, "Nice place to spend a honeymoon -- Love, George."
She was his 17-year-old sweetheart whom he reconnected with when he was invited to a 45th-anniversary class reunion, as per NY Daily News. Back then, he was in no position to accept the invite as his wife Linda Rogoff was dying from a terminal illness.
"I declined the invitation because I was at the lowest time of my roller-coaster life," Segal told NY Daily News. For the Oscar-nominated actor, even work was a drag during that time.
"It was a time when I said, 'It's not adding up, I don't get it anymore,'" he says. "With Linda dying, I lost interest in everything. I worked just to make a living. Acting, like life, became a joyless job. And so I couldn't make the high school reunion," he said. However, the organizers of the reunion put him in touch with Sonia, who used to live in Northern California then.
"I called her up and we began talking," he added. "Some days we talked for six hours. She helped me through the worst days of my life just listening to me unload. It was magic. It was like all that spiritual stuff I had heard about, but when it actually happens in your life, you believe in miracles. She put joy back in my life," he said.
He leaned on Sonia when Linda died in June 1996, and the former high school sweethearts fell in love all over again. Segal married for the third and last time in 1997. His first marriage to Marion Sobel had ended in divorce after 26 years of marriage. They had two daughters together. He had married Linda in 1983 and they were together until she passed away in 1996.
In his twilight years, the Just Shoot Me actor couldn't get over the magic of meeting Sonia again. "After Sonia and I went our separate ways when we were kids, we became married people living in the Village. Never ran into each other. Forty-eight years later, here we are, back in New York, married to each other, and I'm back on Broadway," he said in 1999.
Even Sonia never got over the man she first fell in love with. “I realized that George had been my boyfriend, but he was also a friend I trusted and felt comfortable with," she told the LA Times.
The couple would have celebrated their 24th anniversary in September 2021 but the Where's Poppa? actor passed away unexpectedly.
Cover image source: Getty Images | Photo by (L)Vince Bucci (R)Stefanie Keenan