Edward Albert filmography and biography
Date of birth: 20 February 1951, Los Angeles, California, USA
Date of death: 22 September 2006, Malibu, California, USA (lung cancer)
Edward Albert biography
The only son of "Green Acres" star Eddie Albert and Mexican
actress/dancer Margo (I), Edward Laurence Albert managed to come
out from under his father's strong shadow and make a gallant showing of
his own as a gifted thespian. Born in Los Angeles on February 20, 1951,
Edward's multi-cultural heritage and talented gene pool allowed him to
become a man of many talents: songwriter, drummer, singer, photographer
and, most importantly, activist.
Growing up, he inherited an early interest in music and the performing arts. He made an auspicious film debut at the age of 14 in The Fool Killer co-starring as a young runaway who teams up with a tormented Civil War veteran (Anthony Perkins (I)), a teaming that leads to murder. A strong, mature role for such a youngster, his next film appearance wouldn't come about until seven years later. In the meantime Edward attended Oxford University and was studying psychology at UCLA when offered the break through of a lifetime.
Signed up to play the difficult role of blind Don Baker who yearns for freedom away from his domineering mom (Oscar winner Eileen Heckart) and finds it in the arms of a liberated lass named Jill (Goldie Hawn) in Butterflies Are Free, Edward easily captured the hearts of millions with his tender, life-affirming performance. Played on Broadway by Keir Dullea, Edward walked home with the cinema's Golden Globe Award as "Male Newcomer of the Year." A confident, intelligent actor with a serene handsomeness and thousand-watt smile who just happened to possess the most magnetic pale eyes this side of Meg Foster, Edward was on a seemingly strong path to film stardom. Although he never found a comparable success to "Butterfly," he did follow it up with another theater comedy favorite 40 Carats in which he had a dalliance with older actress Liv Ullmann. He also played Captain Charlton Heston's military son in Midway, followed by highly visible roles in The Domino Principle and The Greek Tycoon.
When film stardom did not pan out, Edward saw TV as a welcoming medium and made up for his sudden lack of star power with wonderful turns in major TV minimovies, notably The Last Convertible. By the 1980s, he had started making the rounds in formula lowbudget action films and usually fared best when his flashy villainous side came into view. While such obvious movie titles as The House Where Evil Dwells, Fist Fighter, Demon Keeper and Stageghost pointed out the lack of quality in his offerings, it did provide a steady income and visibility. He also made frequent guest appearances on such shows as "Falcon Crest," "L.A. Law, "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" and "Dr. Quinn--Medicine Woman" that kept him in the public eye. A solid regular as both good guy and bad guy on series TV, he gave his life (and, it seems, his paycheck) to the Beast after three seasons on Beauty and the Beast and, in contrast, played the dastardly Dr. Bennett Devlin on the daytime soap Port Charles for its first three seasons. Edward also used his vocal talents in animation involving such superhero icons as The Fantastic Four, Spiderman and The Power Rangers.
From his father and mother Edward developed a deep love and appreciation for the land and the diversity of cultures. As such, he divided his time between acting work and activism just as his father had done. Owning a ranch in Malibu for over 30 years, he was a strong, positive influence and passionate spokesperson when it came to environmental and cultural affairs. In more recent years he served on the California Coastal Commission and California Native American Heritage Commission. Long married to lovely British-born actress Katherine Woodville, the couple had one daughter, Thais, who continued the family musical tradition as a singer/songwriter for the rock group Sugar in Wartime. Following his mother's passing of brain cancer in 1985, Edward became a selfless caregiver to his aging father, who began to develop early signs of Alzheimer's disease in the 1990s. His father lived for more than a decade in declining health, dying in May 2005. In early 2005, Edward discovered he too was seriously ill after being diagnosed with lung cancer. He died surrounded by family on September 22, 2006, at the relatively young age of 55.
Edward Albert trivia
- Son of actor Eddie Albert and Mexican dancer/actress Margo (I).
- He was a talented musician, singer, and linguist.
- He was given the middle name Laurence after his godfather, Sir Laurence Olivier.
- He was a graduate of Oxford University.
- He was fluent in English, Spanish, French, Portugese and Mandarin Chinese.
- Had an IQ of 157.
- Brother of Maria Albert Zucht.
- Was his father Eddie Albert's primary caregiver during his final years.
- Father of Thais Albert, singer/songwriter in the rock band Sugar in Wartime.
- Malibu's Escondido Canyon has been renamed in his honor as the Edward Albert Escondido Trail & Waterfalls.
- While filming 40 Carats, he suffered an accident on the set, breaking his shoulder and collar bone in six places.
- In preparation for his blind role in Butterflies Are Free, he studied at the Braille Instiute and walked around town blindfolded.
- Worked closely with Plaza de la Raza, a cultural arts center in Lincoln Heights that was co-founded by his Mexican-born mother.
- He was diagnosed with lung cancer in April 2005, only a month before his father's death.
Edward Albert quotes
- [1972 interview] If I wasn't Eddie Albert's son, I'd be someone else's. It gave me a chance to do a lot of traveling, but mostly I'm glad I'm his son because he's such a good man.
- I always knew I would act. It was just a matter of time.
- Usually in features I'm the lead. I consider the director the captain, but I consider myself the first mate and it's up to me to keep in contact with the heart of the crew. They're crucial to me. If I don't feel that they're relaxed, I'm not relaxed. All the little things they do -- "Hello, how are you?" -- things they may not feel. And when they go out of their way to be nice to you, it means a lot. It's the glue that binds this industry together.
- It was a very magical upbringing, the quality of feeling special and people treated us special. You tried real hard to remember all the normal things, so you didn't get twisted. I think they managed to bring me up well when Hollywood was very Hollywood. I'm obviously unusually aware of second-generation people in the business. The statistics are appalling! There are only about 3% successes.