Mostly Credited As: Eddie Albert
Sometimes Credited As: Eddie Albert Sr.
Eddie Albert Heimberger
Birth Name: Edward Albert Heimberger
Date Of Birth: April 22, 1906 (Age 99)
Country Of Birth: USA
Birth Place: Rock Island, Illinois
Date Of Death: May 26, 2005
Cause Of Death: Pneumonia (Pacific Palisades, California)
Height: 5' 10" (1.77 m)
A graduate of the University of Minnesota, Eddie Albert was a circus trapeze flier before becoming a stage and radio actor. He made his film debut in 1938 and has worked steadily since, often cast as the friendly, good-natured buddy of the hero but occasionally being cast as a villain; one of his most memorable roles was as the cowardly, glory-seeking company commander in Robert Aldrich's World War 2 film, Attack (1956). Eddie Albert's television career is the earliest of any other performer. It began years before electronic television was introduced to the public. In June of 1936 Eddie appeared in RCA/NBC's first private live performance for their radio licensees in New York City. This was very early experimental all electronic television system. Due to the primitive nature of these early cameras it was necessary for him to apply heavy make-up and endure tremendous heat from studio lighting. The basic makeup was green toned with purple lipstick for optimal image transmission by RCA's iconoscope pick up cameras. Since television was experimental Eddie applied his own make-up and even wrote the script for this performance. His co-star was Grace Brandt.
Best known as the constantly flabbergasted Oliver Douglas in the surreal TV sitcom "Green Acres" (1965-71), the seemingly ageless, all American Albert flew on the circus trapeze and gave song recitals, before settling on acting as a career. Debuting in the military-academy comedy Brother Rat (1938), he immediately won attention with his pleasant manner and effortless comic touch. Under contract to Warner Bros. he costarred in Brother Rat and a Baby, Four Wives (both 1939), A Dispatch From Reuters (1940), Four Mothers and The Wagons Roll at Night (both 1941). After wartime duty, his career was slow to restart, but in the 1950s he found a niche in second leads that enabled him to shift from affable comedic types to heavies and back again. He even snared an Oscar nomination for his supporting role in William Wyler's Roman Holiday (1953). And he was especially effective as the cowardly Army officer in Attack! (1956). Other major credits in that fruitful decade: Carrie (1952), Oklahoma! (as Ali Hakim), I'll Cry Tomorrow (both 1955), The Teahouse of the August Moon (1956), and The Sun Also Rises (1957). Albert's latter-day film roles emphasized his menacing, waspish (and WASP-ish) side, as seen in his memorable performances in The Heartbreak Kid (1972, picking up his second Oscar nomination as Cybill Shepherd's father) and The Longest Yard (1974, as a ruthless prison warden). He's also appeared in his share of exploitation quickies, including The Devil's Rain (1975), a horror flick much beloved of so-bad-it's-good cultists. His latest is The Girl From Mars (1991). In 1990 he reunited with Eva Gabor for an unmemorable TV reunion movie, Return to Green Acres In the 1950s he was involved in the production of nontheatrical films, and has long been an active crusader for environmental causes. Albert married exotically beautiful actress Margo Lost Horizon, The Leopard Man in 1945; their son Edward Albert (born 1951), a promising leading man in the early 1970s who debuted opposite Goldie Hawn in Butterflies Are Free (1972), still acts in films and on TV.