George Gaynes

Actor, Opera singer, Director
This bushy-eyebrowed actor and opera singer best known for playing older fops, blustery vain fools, and the curmudgeonly Henry Warnimont on the NBC series "Punky Brewster" (1984-86). Under his real name of George ... Read more »
Born: 05/16/1917 in Finland


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)



This bushy-eyebrowed actor and opera singer best known for playing older fops, blustery vain fools, and the curmudgeonly Henry Warnimont on the NBC series "Punky Brewster" (1984-86). Under his real name of George Jongejans, Gaynes had a career on the opera stages of Italy and France before World War II and in the US after the war. He alternated between stage musicals and both comic and dramatic plays, including appearances in Gilbert and Sullivan operettas and as Henry Higgins in the 1964 US tour of "My Fair Lady".

Gaynes' feature film work began with a small role in "P.T. 109" (1962), and he played small parts in Sidney Lumet's "The Group" (1966), Sydney Pollack's "The Way We Were" (1973) and Peter Bogdanovich's "Nickelodeon" (1976). His first substantial screen role was in Pollack's 1982 comedy "Tootsie". In this Dustin Hoffman vehicle, Gaynes was John Van Horn, the silly old soap opera actor whose big kick is sticking his tongue into the actresses' mouths during love scenes. It turned out to be the magic his film career needed. Mel Brooks cast Gaynes as one of the troupe of Polish actors in "To Be or Not to Be" (1983), and in 1984 he played Commandant Lassard, the titular leader, in the first of seven "Police Academy" movies. At the same time, Gaynes' TV career was also on the rise. Having begun in TV in the 1950s and marking time in the daytime dramas "Search for Tomorrow" (1971) and "General Hospital" (1980), he went on to be featured in several miniseries and TV-movies. His chance for primetime stardom came with the NBC series "Punky Brewster", in which he was the curmudgeonly Henry Warnimont who takes in and raises an orphaned little girl. Gaynes also provided Henry's voice for the animated series version of the show. After the demise of "Punky Brewster", he played a recurring role on "The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd" (on which his wife, Allyn Ann McLerie, was a regular), and was the air-headed Senator Smithers on "Hearts Afire" during that show's 1992-93 season. He has also directed several episodes of the syndicated sitcom, "WKRP in Cincinnati".

In 1994, Gaynes was a member of the cast of Louis Malle's acclaimed independent feature, "Vanya on 42nd Street", as Serybryalzov, the impoverished estate owner married to the much younger Yelena (Julianne Moore). He was also featured in the film adaptation of Arthur Miller's "The Crucible" (1996).


Iya Grigorievna Gay Jongejans Lady Abdy


Iya Gaynes


Matthew Gaynes


Gerritt Jongejans


Allyn McLerie

married December 20, 1953


Scuola Musicale di Milano

1938 - 1939

Actors Studio

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

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"


Next >