Eddie Albert Dead at 99

Well . . . this sucks.

Eddie Albert, an immensely underrated actor, has passed after a very long and productive life.

Here's the Associated Press account, written by that old stalwart Bob Thomas:

LOS ANGELES - Eddie Albert, the actor best known as the constantly befuddled city slicker-turned-farmer in television's "Green Acres," has died. He was 99.

Albert, who appeared in movies and television for more than 50 years, died of pneumonia Thursday at his home in the Pacific Palisades area, in the presence of his longtime caregivers and son Edward, family friend Dick Guttman said Friday.

Albert achieved his greatest fame on "Green Acres" as Oliver Douglas, a New York lawyer who settles in a farm town with his glamorous wife, played by Eva Gabor, and finds himself perplexed by the antics of a host of rural residents, including a pig named Arnold Ziffel.

Albert was nominated for Academy Awards as supporting actor in "Roman Holiday" (1953) and "The Heartbreak Kid" (1972).

The actor moved smoothly from the Broadway stage to movies to television. Besides his 1965-1971 run in "Green Acres," he costarred on TV with Robert Wagner in "Switch" from 1975 to 1978 and was a semi-regular on "Falcon Crest" in 1988.

He was a tireless conservationist, crusading for endangered species, healthful food, cleanup of Santa Monica Bay pollution and other causes. He had remained healthy even in old age.

"Three days ago he was playing basketball in his wheelchair with his granddaughter," Guttman said. "He stayed very vital."


Rob said...

He was one of my faves, too. "Roman Holiday", "Captain Newman, MD" and a host of others - was wasted on "Green Acres", which I despised. One of the great chameleons - totally believable, and very few could match his range.


swac said...

Once again the weird parade of coincidences continues...I just bought the new DVD of Robert Aldrich's The Longest Yard, in which Albert plays the vicious warden a few days before the announcement of his death. I'm surprised it didn't make the obituary, considering the watered down remake currently taking up screen space across North America.

Bob Keser said...

Let's also remember his randy seducer of Jennifer Jones in "Carrie", his Armenian peddlar in "Oklahoma", and his cowardly military careerist in "Attack!". These were all brave choices of roles!

jcadla said...

Lest we forget, Mr Albert was a very proficient gardener in his own right. I got many valuable tips from his book on gardening. (I forget the name of the book)

thatboyaintright said...

A late entry, I know, but don't forget he was a war hero too. Albert served as a lieutenant in the United States Coast Guard in the Pacific during World War II. A genuine war hero, he was awarded the Bronze Star for his actions during the Battle of Tarawa in 1943, when, as a landing ship pilot, he rescued several hundred wounded Marines while under heavy enemy machine-gun fire.