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George R. Robertson, Chief Hurst in the ‘Police Academy’ Films, dies at age 89

George R. Robertson, the Canadian actor who played Police Chief and later Police Commissioner Henry Hurst in the first six Police school movies died. He turned 89.

Robertson passed away Sunday at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center in Toronto, his family announced.

Robertson also appeared in small roles in three films nominated for the Best Picture Oscar — Airport (1970), Norma Rae (1979) and JFK (1991) – and played Vice President Dick Cheney in the 2006 ABC miniseries The road to 9/11.

Robertson appeared as Hurst in the 1994 first Police school movie, directed by Hugh Wilson, and stuck Police Academy 6: City under attack (1989). His character becomes more tolerant of the mad recruits led by Commander Lassard (George Gaynes) as the franchise progresses.

The actor did not make the trip to Moscow for the 1994 episode, but was in one episode of the film from 1997-1998 Police school series on CTV.

George Ross Robertson was born on April 20, 1933 in Brampton, Ontario. He excelled in hockey and football and in 1952 was awarded the Allan Hall Memorial Trophy by West Hill High School, “awarded each year to the athlete who sets a high standard in pure sportsmanship and who, through precept and example, inspires his teammates to greater performance. .”

He received his master’s degree in business administration in 1959 from Columbia University in New York and began his acting career on stage. He made his on-screen debut with an uncredited role in Rosemary’s Baby (1969) and played minor league hockey coach Paperback hero (1973), starring Keir Dullea.

From left: GW Bailey, George Gaynes and George R. Robertson in Police school (1984)

Warner Brothers/Courtesy of Everett Collection

During his 60-year career, Robertson played many authority figures. He portrayed Admiral William Leahy in the 1995 Showtime telefilm Hiroshimaand in 2003 TV movies, he was Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater at Showtime’s The Reagansstarring James Brolin and Judy Davis, and Arkansas Senator William Fulbright in FX’s The Pentagon papersstarring James Spader.

His resume on the big screen was also included National Lampoon seniors trip (1995), Murder at 1600 (1997) and Still mine (2012).

The CBC presented him with the 1993 Margaret Collier Award for outstanding body of work.

Robertson walked 528 miles across southwest France, a distance of 528 miles, to raise money for an orphanage in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and as Chief Hurst, he traveled across Canada addressing high school students as a UNICEF Ambassador (he received the Danny Kaye UNICEF Canada Award in 1990).

He also received a Gemini Award as Humanitarian of the Year in 2004, honored for the impact he had on children in Canada and around the world.

His later life was devoted to painting and writing.

Survivors include his wife of 61 years, Adele (they met in Columbia); daughters Sarah (and her husband, Steve) and Ellen (Mitch); grandchildren Julia and William; and step-grandchildren Ariel, Gabe, Maddie, and Josh.

Donations in his memory can be made to Youth Without Shelter or UNICEF Canada. A memorial service will be held at the end of March.

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