George Werier has been a gangster, a banker, and a salesman—and
those are just his acting roles. His work in real life is even more
varied. Most Santa Barbara residents know “Captain George” Werier
from his cable TV show Alive After 65, which is produced for
seniors and tackles issues including health, world peace, culture,
art, and music. (Having just celebrated his 90th birthday, he jokes
he may change the program’s name to Alive After 85.) But his
activities go beyond the rigors of putting together a weekly TV
Severely visually impaired, Werier regularly attends arts and
crafts classes at the Braille Institute. He is a beloved and
inspirational member of the local 12-step recovery community, and
has served on the boards of many groups, including the county’s
Alcohol and Drug Program and the Area Agency on Aging. He has been
an advisor to the city’s recreation programs, volunteered for the
French Festival, and organized plays at the Goleta Valley Community
Center’s old Triangle Club.
His work in radio, theater, and television—he’s appeared in more
than 50 TV shows, mostly in the 1950s and ’60s—makes him a natural
in the community access TV studio. (The nickname “Captain” stuck,
as he’s played several captain characters and often dons a
captain’s cap.) Combining all that performance experience with
natural curiosity and confidence, he’s spent the last 16 years
working to inform and entertain Santa Barbara audiences. Werier
exudes a healthy sense of humor and a friendly, laid-back demeanor.
He’s learned to take things as they come. “Acceptance is the key to
living,” he said. And he continues to challenge himself. “Why waste
your ability?” Werier wasted nothing on a recent sunny afternoon.
He’d been working on a play and was getting ready to go to the
Jewish Federation Center, where he delivered a speech at a
luncheon. It’s been a long journey since that day when he was three
years old, stepping onto a stage for the first time, acting in 77
Sunset Strip, The Untouchables, and The Red Skelton Show. Now he’s
the captain of his destiny, always ready to perform.