Born as Ottavio Gabriel George on 29 January 1921 in Endicott, New York, he was bitten by the acting bug in the early 1930s when he watched a sing and dance vaudeville act of a child. Although he remembered nothing extraordinary about the act, he was impressed by the fact that the child was only about six years old. From that day on, he dreamed about being an entertainer. And so, after his tour of duty with the Army Air Corps during World War II, he left his hometown of Endicott for California to pursue an acting career. His first few years at Hollywood were lean starting with small roles on television and the big screen. When he was signed up by 20th Century-Fox, he was billed as Ott George or Tony George in “B” movies like “Gunfire at Indian Gap,” “Chicago Confidential,” “Three Bad Sisters” and “You Never Can Tell.”
Because of his dark, swarthy looks Tony George was often typecast with screen toughies, mobsters, convicts and other bad guy roles. His career took off at a faster clip in the small screen appearing as an Indian guide in the “Death in the Snow” episode of NBC’s anthology series, “The Joseph Cotton Show.” He also guest starred in the syndicated TV series “How to Marry a Millionaire,” a Barbara Eden sitcom and in “Sheriff of Cochise,” a John Bromfield crime drama. Tony George appeared as well in the 1955- 56 CBS Cold War drama series “Crusader.”
His breakthrough role came in 1959 when he was cast in the first season of “The Untouchables” as the tough talking Cam Allison alongside Robert Stack who played the role of Eliot Ness. When his character was killed off in a hail of bullets six months later, Tony George took the leading role of Dan Corey in the 1960 detective drama “Checkmate,” which lasted for two seasons and made him a familiar household name. After the series ended, he toured various stage plays and musicals such as “Funny Girl.”
Tony George joined the cast of the gothic soap opera “Dark Shadows” in 1967 playing the role of Burke Devlin. When his character was killed in a plane crash some months later, he continued with stage work. Then in 1970, he joined the cast of “Search for Tomorrow,” which was then the longest running soap opera. Playing the role of Dr. Tony Vicente, he was romantically paired with the soap heroine, Joanne Tate portrayed by Mary Stuart. The screen sweethearts became the most popular couple on daytime television during the 1970s.
In 1977, Tony George was cast as psychiatrist Will Vernon in the soap opera “One Life to Live” and stayed with the show until 1984. After doing a guest shot in “Simon and Simon” in 1988, he retired from acting. He was honored with a bronze star in 1991 on the Sidewalk of the Stars in his hometown in Binghamton, New York. He died on 16 March 2005 at the ripe old age of 84.