All in the Family TV show Wiki
George S. Irving
George Irving
George S. Irving in recent photo
Personal Information
Birthname: George Irving Shelasky
Gender: Male
Birthplace: Springfield, Massachusetts, U.S.
Deathplace: Manhattan, New York City, New York, U.S.
Years active: 1943–2014[1]
Spouse(s): Maria Karnilova (1948-her death- 2001)
Character/Series involvement
Series: All in the Family
Episodes appeared in: "Amelia's Divorce" in Season 5
Character played: Russell DeKuyper
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George Irving Shelasky (born November 1,, 1922-died December 26, 2016) appeared as Russell DeKuyper, Edith Bunker's brother in-law in the Season 5 episode of All in the Family titled "Amelia's Divorce". George is a veteran actor who is known primarily for his many character roles on the Broadway stage.


It was when Irving was 13 or 14 when he sang in synagogues and churches as a boy soprano. By his final high school year in 1940, he heard about a Boston dramatic school in Boston for those who were not quite draft age and who were tall and had deep voices, so he got a scholarship right away. A year after, he spent his chorus time working in St. Louis at the Muny Opera in 1942.[2]

Irving made his debut in the original 1943 production of Oklahoma!, only to be drafted days later to serve in World War II. He is one of three surviving cast members of the original 1943 opening night production of Oklahoma!, along with Marc Platt, and Bambi Linn. He received this role when, during one afternoon, one of the actors lost his voice, and Iriving went on for his replacement. He explains the following: "I wrote to The Theatre Guild when they were casting Oklahoma! and asked them to remind Oscar Hammerstein that he knew me a little, and I got an audition and was cast in the chorus.[2]

Irving is best known to Broadway theatre audiences for his role opposite Debbie Reynolds in Irene (1974) and his Tony Award nominated performance as Sir John in Me and My Girl (1987).

In 2008, Irving recreated the three roles he originally played in the ill-fated 1976 Joseph Stein musical So Long, 174th Street, now reworked, revised, and with its original title Enter Laughing at Off-Broadway's York Theatre Company, and received rave reviews for his rendition of "The Butler's Song".[3]

Irving performed his one-man cabaret show to great acclaim at Feinstein's in New York City in November 2008.[4]

On 8 December 2008, aged 86, Irving received the 17th Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theatre.[5]

Voice acting career[]

One of his most prominent non-Broadway roles was a voice-over for Rankin-Bass's animated holiday television special The Year Without a Santa Claus, in which he played the embittered Heat Miser opposite Dick Shawn's Snow Miser. He did another voice-over for Rankin-Bass as Mister Geppetto in Pinocchio's Christmaa and was the narrator of the animated cartoon series Underdog, as well as the voice of Running Board on Go Go Gophers.

Irving has also narrated the popular Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark Audio Books.

Irving returned to television in 2008 after an absence of more than a decade to reprise his role as Heat Miser in a new sequel to The Year Without a Santa Claus, A Miser Brothers' Christmas, which premiered 13 December 2008 on cable's ABC Family channel. The show served as the network's first-ever original animated special. The production was nominated for an Annie Award for Best Animated Television Production Produced for Children by the Los Angeles Chapter of the International Animated Film Society.


Irving is familiar to television audiences of the 1970s as a result of his multiple memorable guest-starring appearances on All in the Family as Russ DeKuyper, the loudmouthed husband of Edith Bunker's cousin Amelia.


Irving was married to actress Maria Karnilova from 1948 until her death in 2001. They had a son, Alexander of Oceanside, California, a daughter, Katherine Irving of South Salem, New York, and three grandchildren.[6]


Irving died in Manhattan of heart failure on December 26, 2016 at the age of 94.[7]


  1. George S. Irving. American Theatre Wing. March 2010. Accessed from December 8, 2012.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Dale, Michael. 'George S. Irving - Still Carrying On' celebrates 60 years in Musical Theatre. June 16, 2004. Accessed from December 7, 2012.
  3. Genzlinger, Neil. "An Innocent In Love And Show Business", The New York Times, The New York Times, 2008-09-16. Retrieved on 2008-11-29. 
  4. Dale, Michael. "Kindness & George S. Irving at Feinstein's",, Widsom Digital Media, 2008-11-06. Retrieved on 2008-11-29. 
  5. Gans, Andrew. "Irving to Receive Oscar Hammerstein Award; Dale, Plunkett and Ackerman Will Pay Tribute", Playbill, Playbill Inc., 2008-10-23. Retrieved on 2008-11-29. 
  6. Kisselgoff, Anna (April 25, 2001). Maria Karnilova, 80, Star Of Ballets and Broadway. The New York Times.(com), Accessed from December 7, 2012.
  7. Tony Winner George S. Irving Dies at 94, ; accessed December 29, 2016.

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