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Obituaries

G. Wood; Character Actor and Composer

July 28, 2000

G. Wood, 80, a versatile composer and actor whose roles ranged from a martini-swilling general in "MASH" to Shakespearean characters in San Diego's Old Globe Theater. Wood's studies at Yale Drama School were interrupted by World War II, during which he wrote, produced and performed in Army shows in London. After completing graduate studies at Carnegie Mellon University, he became a cabaret performer in New York with Alice Ghostley. He went on to become an original member of the Circle in the Square company, where he wrote several musicals, including "The King and the Duke," "F. Jasmine Addams" and "Scarecrow Richard." He moved into character acting, earning Times reviewers' praise for "extraordinary and disarming" performances. Wood spent several years at the Old Globe Theater in San Diego's Balboa Park, taking a variety of roles, from a porter in "Macbeth" to the title part in "Julius Caesar." He also worked with the National Repertory Theatre, ACT in San Francisco and the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, among others. In motion pictures, Wood was memorable in two Robert Altman films--"MASH," as the football-coaching Gen. Hamilton Hammond (a role he also played in the television series "MASH"), and "Brewster McCloud," as the police detective. He also portrayed a psychiatrist in the cult classic "Harold and Maude." On television, Wood's credits included a portrayal of Woodrow Wilson in a segment of the program "You Asked for It." On Monday in Macon, Ga., of congestive heart failure.

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