George Gaynes

Actor, Opera singer, Director
Whether he is best remembered as the screwball Commandant Lassard from the "Police Academy" (1984) franchise, the grumpy but kind hearted Henry Warnimont from the series "Punky Brewster" (NBC, 1984-88), or the amorous ... Read more »
Born: 05/16/1917 in Helsinki, FI


Actor (45)

Fantastic Four 2014 (Movie)


Just Married 2003 (Movie)

Father Robert (Actor)

Chicago Hope 1986 - 1989, 1992 - 1993, 1995 - 1998 (Tv Show)


Police Academy: The Series 1986 - 1989, 1992 - 1993, 1997 - 1998 (Tv Show)


Leonard Bernstein's New York 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)


Wag the Dog 1997 (Movie)

Senator Nole (Actor)

The Crucible 1996 (Movie)

Judge Sewall (Actor)

Police Academy 7: Mission to Moscow 1994 (Movie)

Commandant Lassard (Actor)

Vanya on 42nd Street 1994 (Movie)

Serybryakov (Actor)

Hearts Afire 1986 - 1989, 1992 - 1993 (Tv Show)


Stepmonster 1993 (Movie)

Norman (Actor)

The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd 1986 - 1991 (TV Show)


Police Academy 6: City Under Siege 1989 (Movie)

Commandant Lassard (Actor)

Punky Brewster 1986 - 1989 (Tv Show)


Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach 1988 (Movie)

Commandant Lassard (Actor)

Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol 1987 (Movie)

Commandant Lassard (Actor)

Search For Tomorrow 1951 - 1987 (TV Show)


Un Tassinaro a New York 1987 (Movie)


Police Academy 3: Back in Training 1986 (Movie)

Commandant Lassard (Actor)

Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment 1985 (Movie)

Commandant Lassard (Actor)

Ternosecco 1985 (Movie)


Micki & Maude 1984 (Movie)

Dr Eugene Glztszki (Actor)

Police Academy 1984 (Movie)

Commandant Lassard (Actor)

Cheers 1983 (Tv Show)


To Be or Not to Be 1983 (Movie)

Ravitch (Actor)

Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid 1982 (Movie)

Dr Forrest (Actor)

Tootsie 1982 (Movie)

John Van Horn (Actor)

Altered States 1980 (Movie)

Dr Wissenschaft (Actor)

Harry and Walter Go to New York 1976 (Movie)

Prince (Actor)

Nickelodeon 1976 (Movie)

Reginald Kingsley (Actor)

Woman of the Year 1975 - 1976 (TV Show)


The Way We Were 1973 (Movie)

El Morocco Captain (Actor)

The Boy Who Cried Werewolf 1972 (Movie)

Dr Marderosian (Actor)

Doctors' Wives 1971 (Movie)

Paul McGill (Actor)

Marooned 1969 (Movie)

Mission Director (Actor)

The Group 1966 (Movie)

Brook Latham (Actor)

Breaking Up Is Hard to Do (TV Show)


Captains and the Kings (TV Show)


Evita Peron (TV Show)


Mom's on Strike (TV Show)


Scruples (TV Show)


The Girl in the Empty Grave (TV Show)


Trilogy of Terror (TV Show)

Director (1)

WKRP in Cincinnati 1978 - 1982, 1986 - 1989, 1992 - 1993, 1995 - 1998 (Tv Show)



Whether he is best remembered as the screwball Commandant Lassard from the "Police Academy" (1984) franchise, the grumpy but kind hearted Henry Warnimont from the series "Punky Brewster" (NBC, 1984-88), or the amorous soap opera star John Van Horn in the comedy "Tootsie" (1982), actor George Gaynes was a fixture in '80s American pop culture. Originally born in Finland in 1917, Gaynes studied at the Collège Classique Cantonal near Lausanne in Switzerland and later went on to study opera at the Music School of Milan in Italy. He would serve in both the Dutch and British Navies during World War II, before eventually relocating to the United States to focus on acting. He began racking up starring roles in Broadway shows like "The Consul" and "Wonderful Town," and eventually enrolled at the Actors Studio. After marrying a fellow Broadway actress, Allyn Ann McLerie, Gaynes and his new wife relocated to Los Angeles, where he began appearing on TV series like "Bonanza" (NBC, 1959-1973). His memorable role in "Tootsie" would come in 1982, quickly followed by the first of seven "Police Academy" movies in 1984. That same year, Gaynes began starring opposite the precocious Soleil Moon Frye on "Punky Brewster." He would go on to play the recurring character of Arthur Feldman on "The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd" (NBC, 1987-1991) and make notable appearances in films like "The Crucible" (1996) and "Wag the Dog" (1997) before retiring from acting in 2003. Gaynes died in 2016. He was 98 years old.


Iya Grigorievna Gay Jongejans Lady Abdy


Iya Gaynes


Matthew Gaynes


Gerritt Jongejans


Allyn McLerie

married December 20, 1953


Actors Studio

New York, New York 1953 - 1958
studied under Lee Strasberg

Scuola Musicale di Milano

1938 - 1939

studing acting with John Daggett Howell in 1960

College Classique Cantonal




First "Police Academy" film as Commandant Lassard; Gaynes has appeared in six sequels


Breakthrough film role as soap opera actor John Van Horn in "Tootsie"


Miniseries debut, "Captains and the Kings"


TV-movie debut, "Trilogy of Terror"


TV Series debut, regular role of Sam Reynolds on CBS daytime drama "Search for Tomorrow"


Played Henry Higgins in US tour of "My Fair Lady"


Film debut, "P.T. 109"


London stage debut, "Bells Are Ringing"


Early TV appearances: as The Dancing Master, "The Would-Be Gentleman" (CBS Special); "One Touch of Venus" (NBC Special)


New York Broadway and opera debut, "The Consul", Ethel Barrymore Theatre (billed as George Jongejans)


Was sub-lieutenant in Royal Netherlands Navy


Opera debut, "The Wizard", Teatro della Triennale, Milan, Italy


Stage debut, "La malade imaginaire", Lausanne, Switzerland

Served in Royal British Navy

Played Henry Warnimont on NBC sitcom, "Punky Brewster"

Provided voice of Warnimont on "Punky Brewster" animated series on NBC

Played Senator Smithers on "Hearts Afire"

First and second basso, Opera House, Mulhouse, France

Appeared as Arthur Feldman on "The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd"

Bonus Trivia


Was raised in France, England, and Switzerland.


Served in the Dutch and British Navies during World War II.


Originaly intended to become an opera singer, studying the craft in Italy before he became a stage actor.


Son Matthew was a skilled kayaker and on track to compete in the 1980 Olympics until the U.S. ended up boycotting the games. Was later killed in a car crash in Nepal, India in 1989 while filming a special for ESPN.


Founded the State Street Ballet Company in Santa Barbara, California with his wife Allyn.