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Eddie Albert

From Academic Kids

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Eddie Albert with Eva Gabor in "Green Acres"

Eddie Albert (April 22, 1906May 26, 2005) was an American actor.

Born Edward Albert Heimberger in Rock Island, Illinois, Albert spent his early years in Minneapolis, Minnesota. After graduating from University of Minnesota, Albert pursued a show business career through jobs as a stage actor, nightclub singer and trapeze performer in a Mexican circus.

Albert's year of birth is frequently given as 1908, but this is incorrect. While many Hollywood figures have often given years of birth later than their true ones in order to present themselves as being younger than they are, the motivation in this case was provided by Albert's mother, who began the practice because she was unmarried in 1906 when Albert was actually born, but was married by 1908. Albert also stated that he dropped his last name "Heimberger" not so much out of a desire to have a stage name, but rather because it was almost invariably mangled into "Hamburger".

In 1936, Albert became one of the first television actors when he performed live in RCA's first television broadcast, a promotion for their New York City radio stations. In 1938, Albert made his film debut in Brother Rat, playing cadet 'Bing' Edwards, a role he had originally performed on Broadway. His contract with Warner Bros. was abruptly terminated in 1941, purportedly because of an affair he was having with studio head Jack L. Warner's wife. (Warner had previously pulled him off a picture as it was being shot, and kept him under contract for a period afterwards primarily as a way of preventing him from getting other work.)

Albert served in the United States Navy during World War II as a Lieutenant. He was awarded the Bronze Star for his actions during the Battle of Tarawa in 1943, when he rescued a group of wounded Marines under enemy fire. Albert returned from the war a much better actor with a darker screen persona, although it would take another ten years before audiences could see just how good he was. Attack (1956) provided Albert with his most serious role as a cowardly, psychotic Army captain whose behavior threatens the safety of his company, including a wounded lieutenant played by Jack Palance.

Albert married actress Marķa Marguerita Guadelupe Boldao y Castilla (better known by her stage name Margo) on December 5, 1945 and they remained together until her death on July 17, 1985. The couple had two children: Edward, an actor like his parents; and Maria, a businesswoman.

In 1965, Albert took the role of Oliver Wendell Douglas in the television sitcom Green Acres, which ran through 1971. Albert played the straight man to his co-star Eva Gabor and the rest of the cast in the series about an urban couple who moved to a surreal farming community. Of the many roles Albert took after the run of this very successful program, he is probably best remembered for his part as the warden in the 1974 film The Longest Yard.

Albert was active in a number of causes. He and his family helped support Plaza de la Raza, a center for Hispanic arts and education. Albert produced a number of educational films for children and also organized City Children's Farms, a program for creating gardens in inner cities. Albert was also very active in environmental concerns. He was one of the first people calling for a ban on DDT and International Earth Day was designated on April 22, partly in honor of his birthday.

Eddie Albert died of pneumonia and Alzheimer's disease at the age of 99 at his home in the Pacific Palisades area on May 26, 2005. His death coincided with the release of the remake of The Longest Yard.

For his contribution to the television industry, Eddie Albert has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6441 Hollywood Boulevard.

Filmography


External links

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