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Eddie Albert

Eddie Albert

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Also Known As: Edward Albert Sr., Edward Albert Heimberger Died: May 26, 2005
Born: April 22, 1906 Cause of Death: complications from pneumonia
Birth Place: Rock Island, Illinois, USA Profession: actor, producer, singer, theater manager, circus trapeze flyer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

This personable character actor from radio and the stage entered films in 1938, reprising his stage role as the star pitcher for a military college's baseball team in "Brother Rat". In his long and varied stage, screen and television career, Eddie Albert has had roles that have ranged from amiable best friend of the romantic lead to charming con men to outright villains. Raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Albert began his career as a singer and stage manager in local theater. By the mid-1930s, he had toured the USA with the singing group Threesome and had begun to work on radio. "O Evening Star" (1935-36) marked his Broadway debut and in 1936 he had a co-starring role in "Brother Rat", the role which brought him to Hollywood. Throughout his career, he would venture back to the stage with memorable turns in Rodgers and Hart's "The Boys from Syracuse" (1938), Irving Berlin's ill-fated "Miss Liberty" (1949), Harold Hill in "The Music Man" (1960) and an all-star revival of "You Can't Take It With You" (1983). Once in Hollywood, Albert quickly became established as a stalwart character player. He reprised his turn as Bing Edwards in the sequel "Brother Rat and a Baby" (1940). Despite solid work throughout...

This personable character actor from radio and the stage entered films in 1938, reprising his stage role as the star pitcher for a military college's baseball team in "Brother Rat". In his long and varied stage, screen and television career, Eddie Albert has had roles that have ranged from amiable best friend of the romantic lead to charming con men to outright villains.

Raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Albert began his career as a singer and stage manager in local theater. By the mid-1930s, he had toured the USA with the singing group Threesome and had begun to work on radio. "O Evening Star" (1935-36) marked his Broadway debut and in 1936 he had a co-starring role in "Brother Rat", the role which brought him to Hollywood. Throughout his career, he would venture back to the stage with memorable turns in Rodgers and Hart's "The Boys from Syracuse" (1938), Irving Berlin's ill-fated "Miss Liberty" (1949), Harold Hill in "The Music Man" (1960) and an all-star revival of "You Can't Take It With You" (1983).

Once in Hollywood, Albert quickly became established as a stalwart character player. He reprised his turn as Bing Edwards in the sequel "Brother Rat and a Baby" (1940). Despite solid work throughout the 40s, it wasn't until the 50s that Albert began to garner breakout roles. He was a traveling salesman who encounters Jennifer Jones' "Carrie" (1952) and had one of his most memorable roles as a photographer who snaps a shot of a runaway princess in William Wyler's "Roman Holiday" (1953), a role that earned him his first Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination. Other memorable roles included the reformed alcoholic in "I'll Cry Tomorrow" and the itinerant peddler in love with Ado Annie (Gloria Grahame) in "Oklahoma!" (both 1955), the psychiatrist in "The Teahouse of the August Moon" (1956) and the psychologically fragile army colonel haunted by the deaths of his men in "Captain Newman, M.D." (1963). Albert earned a second Best Supporting Oscar nomination as Cybill Shepherd's cool, WASP father who wants to keep her away from the Jewish Charles Grodin in Elaine May's "The Heartbreak Kid" (1972). While Albert continued to appear in features into the 1980s, few of his later roles were memorable, with the exception of his turn as the prison warden blackmailing inmate Burt Reynolds in "The Longest Yard" (1974).

The small screen has also proven hospitable to the actor's wide-ranging talents. A former circus performer, Albert broke into the medium appearing in numerous live broadcasts during the so-called "Golden Age of Television". He landed his first series berth as a man working for his father-in-law (Ed Begley) in the short-lived "Leave It to Larry" (CBS, 1952). The following year, Albert hosted the NBC variety series "Nothing But the Best" and later handled hosting chores on the CBS game show "On Your Account" (1954-56). Perhaps his best-remembered role, however, was on "Green Acres" (CBS, 1965-71), as Oliver Douglas, the Manhattan attorney who, with his socialite wife (Eva Gabor), leaves the city behind to become a farmer. (During the sitcom's first season, Albert also made appearances on another CBS sitcom "Petticoat Junction" which was set in the same fictional town of Hooterville.) Although CBS dumped "Green Acres" in 1971 when it was clearing house of series with rural appeal, some TV historians now consider the show to have been an astute, if somewhat low content, social satire. Albert returned to the weekly format as Robert Wagner's con-man father on "Switch" (CBS, 1975-78) (CBS).

The actor has remained a staple on the small screen as a guest actor and in longforms well into the 90s. He made his TV-movie debut in "See the Man Run" (ABC, 1971) and later starred in the 1973 NBC production of "The Borrowers", based on the children's classic about a family of tiny people living in the cracks and crevasses of a home. Other memorable roles have included as the aged statesman in "Benjamin Franklin: The Ambassador" (CBS, 1974), a plantation owner in "Beulah Land" (NBC, 1980) and the unscrupulous judge in "Dress Grey" (NBC, 1984). In 1989, Albert made the first of several appearances as Timothy Busfield's father on "thirtysomething" (ABC) and was a media mogul in the small screen remake of "The Barefoot Executive" (ABC, 1995).

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Barefoot Executive, The (1995) Ernest Gower
2.
 Return to Green Acres (1990) Oliver Douglas
3.
 Big Picture, The (1989) Emcee
4.
 Deadly Illusion (1989) Theo
5.
 Brenda Starr (1989) Police Chief Maloney
6.
 Terminal Entry (1987) Captain Danny Jackson
7.
 Mercy Or Murder (1987) Joe Varon
8.
 Head Office (1986) Helmes
9.
 In Like Flynn (1985) Bill White
10.
 Stitches (1985) Dean Bradley
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1933:
Made professional debut as singer and stage manager in Minneapolis, Minnesota
:
Made debut on NBC radio as part of musical trio called, "Threesome"
1935:
Co-starred with Grace Albert on the NY radio show, "The Honeymooners"; later toured in stage version
1935:
Broadway debut in "O Evening Star"
1936:
Created role of Bing Edwards in stage version of "Brother Rat"
1938:
Co-starred in Rodgers and Hart's musical "The Boys from Syracuse"
1938:
Film acting debut, repeating his Broadway role in "Brother Rat"
1941:
Appeared with Circus Moderno in Mexico
1945:
Formed educational film company, Eddie Albert Productions
1951:
Made TV episodic debut in "Somerset Maugham TV Theatre" (NBC)
1952:
Featured in first TV comedy series, "Leave It to Larry"
1953:
Tried TV series again with "Nothing But the Best" (NBC)
1953:
Had one of his more enduring feature film roles, "Roman Holiday"; won first Oscar nomination as Best Supporting Actor
1954:
Toured in nightclub act with wife, Margo
1954:
Hosted the CBS game show "On Your Account"
1960:
Played the title role in the Broadway musical "The Music Man"
:
Starred in TV series, "Green Acres"
1971:
TV-movie debut, "See the Man Run" (ABC)
:
Conducted a lecture tour on ecology
1972:
Played cool, WASP father in "The Heartbreak Kid"; received second Best Supporting Actor Academy Award nomination
:
Returned to series TV as Robert Wagner's father in the CBS comedy-drama "Switch"
1978:
TV miniseries debut "The Word" (CBS)
1980:
Co-starred in NBC miniseries "Beulah Land"
1983:
Returned to the stage to co-star in Broadway revival of "You Can't Take It With You"
1987:
Appeared on one season of "Falcon Crest" (CBS)
1989:
Played Elliot's father on "thirtysomething" (ABC)
:
Made occasional guest appearances on TV series throughout the 1990s
1995:
Had featured role in TV remake of "The Barefoot Executive" (ABC)
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

University of Minnesota at Minneapolis-St Paul: Minneapolis-St Paul , Minnesota - 1927 - 1929

Notes

Participated in the World Hunger Conference in Rome (1974).

Received the Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts Degree from Southern Illinois University in 1982.

In 1960, Albert was announced as the first host of the CBS revival of the "Candid Camera" series, but was dropped before the premiere in favor of Arthur Godfrey.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Margo. Actor, singer, dancer. Married from 1945 until her death on July 17, 1985.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Frank Daniel Heimberger. Realtor.
mother:
Julia Heimberger.
daughter:
Maria Albert.
son:
Edward Albert. Actor, director. Born February 20, 1951.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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