Skip to main content

Furth, George 1932-2008 (George Scheinfurth)

Furth, George 1932-2008 (George Scheinfurth)


See index for CA sketch: Born December 14, 1932, in Chicago, IL; died August 11, 2008, in Santa Monica, CA. Actor and playwright. Fans of musical theater remember Furth for his award-winning collaborations with composer Stephen Sondheim. He won an Antoinette Perry Award and a Drama Desk Award for best book of a musical in 1971 for the stage musical Company. The play is a collection of vignettes revolving around a single character, Robert, a bachelor who tries to decide whether marriage is right for him by observing the married couples in his circle of friends. Furth employed a similar device in other plays, such as Twigs (1981), which usually features one actress playing the roles of four sisters as each spends a single day before Thanksgiving in her own kitchen. The Supporting Cast (1981) is a set of vignettes connected by a would-be author attempting to weave the lives of several friends into a single novel. Furth supported his writing career with character roles in dozens of television shows and films, from the alternative 1976 comedy series Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman to the 1975 film Shampoo, starring and produced by his good friend Warren Beatty. He appeared in several Beatty films over the years. Furth may be most often recognized by filmgoers as Woodcock, the railway guard whose loyalty to "E.H. Harriman of the Union Pacific Railroad" placed him in mortal danger, not once but twice, in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Furth appeared in at least a hundred television series and films between the early 1960s and 1998, when he made a brief appearance in the film Bulworth. Furth's most lasting and respected legacy, however, will be his contributions to the Broadway stage. Among his other plays are the Sondheim collaborations Merrily We Roll Along (1981), a musical, and Getting Away with Murder: A Comedy Thriller (1996), one of Sondheim's rare non-musical collaborations.



Chicago Tribune, August 13, 2008, sec. 2, p. 10.

Los Angeles Times, August 12, 2008, p. B7.

New York Times, August 12, 2008, p. C9.

Washington Post, August 13, 2008, B7.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Furth, George 1932-2008 (George Scheinfurth)." Contemporary Authors. . 16 Jul. 2019 <>.

"Furth, George 1932-2008 (George Scheinfurth)." Contemporary Authors. . (July 16, 2019).

"Furth, George 1932-2008 (George Scheinfurth)." Contemporary Authors. . Retrieved July 16, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.