NEW YORK, Oct 3 (Reuters) Tony Award-winning actor George Grizzard, who appeared in the original 1962 Broadway production of Edward Albee's ''Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?,'' has died in New York at the age of 79, his agent said today.
Agent Clifford Stevens said Grizzard died of lung cancer on Tuesday at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center and is survived by his partner William Tynan.
Grizzard, who debuted on Broadway as actor Paul Newman's younger brother in ''The Desperate Hours'' in 1955, won a best actor Tony in 1996 for his role in a revival of Albee's ''A Delicate Balance.'' He also had roles in movies, including Woody Allen's ''Small Time Crooks,'' and regularly appeared on television in series like ''Law and Order'' as defense lawyer Arthur Gold.
He won an Emmy for best supporting actor in a limited series or special in 1980 for his role alongside Henry Fonda in ''The Oldest Living Graduate.'' In the original production of ''Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf,'' Grizzard played the husband in the younger couple who come to dinner at George and Martha's house and becomes the butt of their jokes.
Years later, he said was a difficult role because the audience delighted in watching him suffer.
Martha and George were played by Uta Hagen and Arthur Hill and the role Grizzard's wife was played by Melinda Dillon.
REUTERS SBA AS0252