Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Edward Albert R.I.P.

Edward Albert, an extremely busy leading man in hundreds of films and TV shows, has passed away much too young at age 55. He had lung cancer. Sadly, his death occurs just one year after that of his father, the great GREEN ACRES star Eddie Albert, who lived to be a ripe old 99.

Albert was an actor who loved to work. He made his leading man debut opposite Goldie Hawn in the acclaimed BUTTERFLIES ARE FREE, and even though he earned a Golden Globe nomination for his performance, he didn't wait around for "quality" offers to come rolling in. A mere two years after the 1972 film, Albert was already starring in made-for-TV movies with titles like KILLER BEES and DEATH CRUISE. If you have seen Albert at all, it's most likely as a heavy on a TV crime drama or in a trashy exploitation movie.

I most recently saw Albert in a WALKING TALL episode playing a bank robber who kidnaps the father of sheriff Buford Pusser (Bo Svenson) to force the release of his jailed father (Chuck Connors) and in the film GETTING EVEN, an implausible thriller with great stunts about a millionaire (Albert) who teams up with a sexy government agent (Audrey Landers) to retrieve stolen nerve gas from evil industrialist Joe Don Baker.

Albert might best be known in some circles as the lead in the notorious GALAXY OF TERROR. Roger Corman produced this notorious 1981 science fiction movie, which is mostly remembered for a sleazy scene in which a female astronaut is stripped and raped by a slimy 20-foot space worm! A band of astronauts aboard the spaceship Quest are sent on a rescue mission to a fog-bound planet to investigate the disappearance of a previous expedition. The crew includes hot-headed second-in-command Baelon (Zalman King), psychic Alluma (Erin Moran, the fresh-faced HAPPY DAYS teen whose appearance here surely raised a few eyebrows), square-jawed hero Cabrin (Albert) and grizzled old cook Kore (Ray Walston). Upon landing, the crew begins exploring a spooky space pyramid where they start getting picked off one by one in variously bloody ways. Besides the afore-mentioned slime rape, one character chops off his own arm (which manages to stab him to death on its own), another immolates herself, one is strangled so tightly by grisly tentacles that her head explodes, and the beat goes on...

Edward Albert was also a staunch conservationist, though he never stopped working as an actor. He still has some films yet to be released. He even acted many times with the MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS! And the lucky fella was married to the gorgeous British actress Kate Woodville.

Take the time to read Albert's obit, and you'll discover an interesting individual who sadly was taken from us before his time.


Marty McKee said...

Hey, man, Audrey Landers is a fox!

I wish the two actors had done more together. They presented an Oscar together the year Edward was hot off of BUTTERFLIES ARE FREE, and that was probably interesting to see. The two men reportedly had a very good relationship and shared a common interest in conservation. I'm sure there was a lot of love there.

Anonymous said...

I can't say I looked forward to watching Edward Albert in anything but I was often glad he'd been there, and he is yet another actor whose passing leaves a hole where my youth used to be. For a while he was in everything, and I saw him in everything.

Marty McKee said...

SWITCH holds up about as well as any '70s Universal show. Not as well as ROCKFORD FILES, of course, but at least as well as MCCLOUD or QUINCY. Albert and Wagner were great television actors, and they carried what charm the series had.