George G. "Greg" Plitt Jr., a Gilman School graduate, actor, stunt double, and a certified personal trainer who was considered the No. 1 male fitness model in the world, died Jan. 17 in Burbank, Calif., after being struck by a passenger train.
The former Lutherville resident, who lived in Los Angeles, was 37.
Burbank police said that Mr. Plitt, who was known as Greg, and two other men were filming on railroad tracks north of Burbank when he was struck by a Metrolink Antelope Valley Line passenger train.
Witnesses said the train's engineer had been sounding its whistle at the time of the accident, reported the Associated Press, in an account that was published in The Baltimore Sun on Jan. 18.
On Wednesday, Burbank Police Department spokesman Joshua Kendrick, said the investigation into Mr. Plitt's death is continuing.
The son of George G. Plitt Sr., a businessman, and Janet O'Rourke Plitt, an interior decorator, George Gregory Plitt Jr. was born in Baltimore and raised in Lutherville.
Mr. Plitt's interest in physical fitness began when he was in the sixth grade after his father purchased a home gym.
As a student at Gilman from 1984 to 1996, when he graduated, he excelled in wrestling, football, golf and baseball. In his third year of wrestling, he became junior league state champion and the school's No. 1 wrestler.
During his varsity career, Mr. Plitt, who wrestled in the 189-pound weight class, became an Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association champion, three-time state champion, a National Prep runner-up champion, and a two-time All-America wrestler.
Dr. Maakan "Tag" Taghizadeh, a Baltimore plastic surgeon who lives in Canton, had been best friends with Mr. Plitt, whom he met at Gilman in the fifth grade.
"He had that work ethic since fifth grade and I suspect since day one. 'Good enough' was never in his vocabulary," said Dr. Taghizadeh. "He worked hard in everything he did at Gilman. He was continually perfecting his craft."
After Gilman, he attended West Point, from which he graduated in 2000 with a bachelor's degree in business economics.
He served as an Army Ranger for five years after graduating from West Point, and as a captain, he was a company commander responsible for 184 soldiers.
Mr. Plitt was a professional skydiver who had completed more than 2,000 jumps, and a certified scuba diver. He also enjoyed horseback riding and rock climbing.
About a year and a half before he left the Army, Mr. Plitt chanced upon a convention of modeling agents in the lobby of the Marriott Hotel in Washington. At their urging, he traveled to New York, where professional photos led two months later to his appearing on the cover of Muscle and Fitness magazine.
His interest in acting was piqued when he read lines with an ex-actress girlfriend, and after living in New York City for a few months, moved to Los Angeles, where he auditioned for and was given the role of Henderson on the soap opera "Days of Our Lives." He also played a carpenter on HGTV's "Designed to Sell."
"Over the last nine years, Greg Plitt — actor, model, entrepreneur and motivational speaker — appeared on over 250 fitness magazine covers and was undisputed America's No. 1 male fitness model," said his girlfriend of nearly two years, Christina Stejskal, a Los Angeles publicist.
Bodybuilding.com said that Mr. Plitt was at the time of his death "the No.1 male fitness model in the world."
Ms. Stejskal said Mr. Plitt broke records by appearing on a fitness magazine cover "every month for an impressive five years."
Some of the magazines that featured him on their covers included Maxim, AXL, American Health & Fitness, Flaunt, Men's Fitness, Muscle & Fitness, Men's Health, Fitness Rx for Men and Men's Exercise.
Men's Fitness magazine named Mr. Plitt one of the 25 Fittest Americans, and in 2009 he won the Star Physique Award for the Best Male Physique on TV.
Iron Man magazine called him a "Cover Model Extraordinaire," while DNA Magazine named him one of the 60 Sexiest Men Alive, and the TV show "Extra" said he was one of "America's Most Eligible Bachelors."
In 2008, he debuted on Bravo's reality show "Work Out" as a trainer.
"It's not long into his first episode before Plitt is shirtless on cable, flaunting his flauntable six-pack and making out with a model in a hot tub," reported The Baltimore Sun at the time.
He modeled underwear for Calvin Klein and Skimpies. Much in demand as a spokesmodel, he appeared in TV commercials for Old Spice Body Wash, Great Outdoor Games, Under Armour, MTV, Zoli Sinks bathroom fixture company, Gold's Gym Power Flex, Old Navy blue jeans, Dodge Ram trucks and Bowflex exercise equipment, among others.
Mr. Plitt was also the spokesmodel for Thierry Mugler, a fashion and perfume designer who created Angel Men and Ice Men fragrances.
In 2009, he launched his website, gregplitt.com, which quickly amassed a following of hundreds of thousands worldwide who were motivated by his humble yet straightforward intensity, said Ms. Stejskal. "He continually preached the value of sweat equity in hopes to achieve the goal of teaching others to cherish each moment and overcome challenges," she said.
She said that Mr. Plitt began "embracing challenges and the adversity that life brought," when he was 12 years old.
"He said, 'There are always two roads in life: the hard road and the easy road. I will always take the hard road,' " said Ms. Stejskal.
Mr. Plitt's movie roles included appearing in 2006 with Matt Damon, Angelina Jolie, and Robert DeNiro in "The Good Shepherd."
Other movie performances included "Terminator Salvation" with Christian Bale, "Grudge Match" starring Sylvester Stallone and "The Watchmen," in which he portrayed the body of Dr. Manhattan, whose character was played by actor Billy Crudup.
Dr. Taghizadeh recalled his friend's generosity and concern for others.
"He was the most generous person I've ever known. Whether he could help you emotionally, financially or with your career, he was there," he said. "Countless times, he saw what I needed and came to my rescue."
Mr. Plitt was an avid Ravens and L.A. Kings fan. He also enjoyed working on home construction projects and playing with his pit bull puppies.
A memorial Mass will be offered at 2 p.m. Friday at Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church, Baltimore and Ware avenues, Towson.
In addition to his girlfriend, Mr. Plitt is survived by his parents, who live in Stuart, Fla.; a sister, Virginia "Ginne" Teti of Virginia Beach, Va.; and two nephews.