In Sad and Lonely Sundays (1976)
June 16, 1907
Malden, Massachusetts, U.S.
|Died||November 25, 1981
Hollywood Hills, California, U.S.
|Cause of death||Colorectal cancer|
|Resting place||Ashes scattered in the Pacific Ocean|
|Other names||Jackie Alberts|
|Notable work||John Clearly in The Subject Was Roses (1968)
Grandpa Joe in Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)
Manny Rosen in The Poseidon Adventure (1972)
|Television||Chico and the Man (1974–1978)|
|Spouse(s)||June Wallace Thompson (m. 1952–1981; his death)|
|Parent(s)||Leopold Albertson (father)
Flora Craft (mother)
|Relatives||Mabel Albertson (older sister)
George Englund (nephew)
Patricia "Pat" Englund (niece)
Jack Albertson (June 16, 1907 – November 25, 1981) was an American character actor, comedian, dancer, singer and musician, who also performed in vaudeville. Albertson is known for his roles as John Cleary in The Subject Was Roses (1968), for which he received an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor; Grandpa Joe in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971); Manny Rosen in The Poseidon Adventure (1972); and Ed Brown in the television sitcom Chico and the Man (1974–78). For his contributions to the television industry, Albertson was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6253 Hollywood Boulevard.
Jack Albertson was born on June 16, 1907, in Malden, Massachusetts, the son of Russian-born Jewish immigrants Flora (née Craft) and Leopold Albertson. His older sister was actress Mabel Albertson. Albertson's mother, a stock actress, supported the family by working in a shoe factory. Until at least the age of 22, Albertson was known as "Harold Albertson".
Albertson worked in burlesque as a hoofer (soft shoe dancer) and straight man to Phil Silvers on the Minsky's Burlesque Circuit. Besides vaudeville and burlesque, he appeared on the stage in many Broadway plays and musicals, including High Button Shoes, Top Banana, The Cradle Will Rock, Make Mine Manhattan, Show Boat, Boy Meets Girl, Girl Crazy, Meet the People, The Sunshine Boys – for which he received a Tony Award nomination for Best Actor, and The Subject Was Roses – for which he won a Tony for Best Supporting Actor.
Albertson appeared in more than thirty films. He had an early minor role in Miracle on 34th Street as a postal worker who redirects dead letters addressed to "Santa Claus" to the courthouse where Kris Kringle is on trial. He won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in the 1968 film The Subject Was Roses. He later apologized to Jack Wild for winning the award; Wild was also nominated and Albertson expected Wild to win.
Albertson appeared as Charlie Bucket's Grandpa Joe in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971), and in The Poseidon Adventure (1972), where he played Manny Rosen, husband to Belle, played by Shelley Winters.
Albertson said that his one regret was that he did not reprise his role in the movie version of The Sunshine Boys. When producer Ray Stark acquired the film rights from Neil Simon in 1973, it was expected that Albertson would play the part, but by the time MGM had bought the rights in 1974 and was preparing to begin filming in February 1975, Albertson was not available because he was appearing on Chico and the Man on TV.
Albertson was a radio performer early in his career was known for appearing on two programs, Just Plain Bill and The Jack Albertson Comedy Show. Later, he was for a time a regular on the Milton Berle Show in the late 1940s.
Albertson appeared in many television series, such as Hey, Jeannie! with Jeannie Carson; the syndicated western series Frontier Doctor with Rex Allen; Rod Cameron's syndicated crime drama State Trooper; and the 1961–62 drama series Bus Stop. He guest-starred on the David Janssen crime drama series Richard Diamond, Private Detective.
From 1960-61, Albertson was cast in three episodes of Pete and Gladys, with Harry Morgan and Cara Williams. On January 2, 1961, Albertson was cast as Sampson J. Binton, with DeForest Kelley as Alex Jeffords, in "Listen to the Nightingale", the series finale of Riverboat, starring Darren McGavin. Albertson had a recurring role as the neighbor Walter Burton in eight episodes of the 1962 ABC sitcom Room for One More, with Andrew Duggan and Peggy McCay. He had recurring roles in Ensign O'Toole (1962–63) and Run, Buddy, Run (1966).
Other 1960s series on which Albertson appeared were NBC's sitcom, Happy starring Ronnie Burns, and Glynis, starring Glynis Johns and Keith Andes, which aired for 13 weeks in the fall of 1963. Albertson appeared in two episodes of The Twilight Zone. In a 1967 episode of The Andy Griffith Show, he played the n'er-do-well cousin, Bradford J. Taylor, of series character Aunt Bee (Frances Bavier). He co-starred as "The Man" Ed Brown in Chico and the Man, with Freddie Prinze, for which he earned an Emmy.
Personal life and death
He resided for many years in West Hollywood, California. In 1978, he was diagnosed with colorectal cancer, but kept this information private and continued to act. Two of his last roles were in the television movies, My Body, My Child (1982) and Grandpa, Will You Run With Me? (1983), both filmed in 1981 several months before his death, both of which were released posthumously. His final theatrical role was as the ill-tempered hunter, Amos Slade, in Walt Disney's 24th animated feature, The Fox and the Hound, originally released in the summer of 1981, four months before his death.
Albertson died on November 25, 1981, at the age of 74, after a three-year battle with colorectal cancer. He was survived by his wife, June (July 23, 1924–January 9, 2015) and his daughter Maura Dhu. He and his elder sister, Mabel Albertson, (who died ten months later from Alzheimer's disease), were cremated and their ashes were scattered in the Pacific Ocean.
|1938||Next Time I Marry||Reporter||unconfirmed|
|1940||Strike Up the Band||Barker||uncredited|
|1947||Miracle on 34th Street||Al, Post Office mail sorter||uncredited|
|1952||Anything Can Happen||Flower Vendor||uncredited|
|1954||Top Banana||Vic Davis|
|1955||Bring Your Smile Along||Mr. Jenson|
|The Harder They Fall||Pop|
|The Eddy Duchin Story||Piano tuner||uncredited|
|The Unguarded Moment||Prof|
|You Can't Run Away from It||Third proprietor|
|1957||Man of a Thousand Faces||Dr. J. Wilson Shields|
|Don't Go Near the Water||Rep. George Jansen|
|Monkey on My Back||Sam Pian|
|1959||Never Steal Anything Small||Sleep-Out Charlie Barnes|
|The Shaggy Dog||Reporter||uncredited|
|1961||The George Raft Story||Milton|
|Lover Come Back||Fred|
|1962||Convicts 4||Art Teacher|
|Period of Adjustment||Desk Sergeant|
|Who's Got the Action?||Hodges|
|Days of Wine and Roses||Traynor|
|1963||Son of Flubber||Mr. Barley|
|1964||Kissin' Cousins||Capt. Robert Jason Salbo|
|The Patsy||Theatergoer with Helen|
|Roustabout||Lou (tea house manager)|
|1965||How to Murder Your Wife||Dr. Bentley|
|1967||The Flim-Flam Man||Mr. Packard|
|1968||How To Save A Marriage and Ruin Your Life||Mr. Slotkin|
|The Subject Was Roses||John Cleary||Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor|
|1970||Squeeze a Flower||Alfredo Brazzi|
|Rabbit, Run||Marty Tothero|
|1971||Once Upon a Dead Man|
|Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory||Grandpa Joe|
|The Late Liz||Reverend Gordon Rogers|
|1972||Pickup on 101||Hobo|
|The Poseidon Adventure||Manny Rosen|
|1981||The Fox and the Hound||Amos Slade||voice, final theatrical role|
|Dead & Buried||William G. Dobbs|
|1982||My Body, My Child||Poppa MacMahon||TV film; filmed in 1981; released posthumously; final television role|
Television credits – recurrent roles
|1957–59||The Thin Man||Lt. Harry Evans||14 episodes|
|1959–62||The Jack Benny Program||Reporter||6 episodes|
|1961–64||Mister Ed||Paul Fenton||7 episodes|
|1962||Room for One More||Walter Burton||8 episodes|
|1962–63||Ensign O'Toole||Lt. Cdr. Virgil Stoner||32 episodes|
|1971–72||Dr. Simon Locke||Dr. Andrew Sellers|
|1974–78||Chico and the Man||Ed Brown||88 episodes
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series (1976)
Nominated-Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series (1975, 1977)
|1978||Grandpa Goes to Washington||Senator Joe Kelley||7 episodes|
Television – guest roles
|1956||I Love Lucy||Helicopter Dispatcher||episode: "Bon Voyage"|
|Crusader||Ernie Duchek||episode: "The Syndicate"|
|Sheriff of Cochise||Greenbriar Merritt||episode: "Closed for Repairs"|
|1957–60||Have Gun, Will Travel||Mayor Whiteside
|episode: "Out at the Old Ball Park"
episode: "The Teacher"
episode: "High Wire"
|1958||Bachelor Father||Charlie Sharpe
|episode: "Bentley and the Finishing School"
episode: "Woman of the House"
|The People's Choice||Luther Jenkins||episode: "Daisies Won't Tell", with Jackie Cooper|
|1959||Richard Diamond, Private Detective||Fallace||episode: "Boomerang Bait"|
|1959–61||The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis||Bison Lodge Member
|episode: "Have You Stopped Beating Your Wife?"
episode: "Maynard G. Krebs, Boy Millionaire"
episode: "'You Ain't Nuthin' But a Houn' Dog"
episode: "Competition Is the Life of Trade"
episode: "Deck the Halls"'
|1960||The Gale Storm Show||Freddy Morell||episode: "Show Biz"|
|The Tab Hunter Show||Coach||episode: "My Darling Teacher"|
|The Ann Sothern Show||Mr. Dooley||episode: "Billy"|
|Happy||Ed Langley||episode: "Chris' Night Out"|
|Klondike||Eskimo Eddie||episode: "Sure Thing, Men"|
|1961||Riverboat||Sampson J. Binton||episode: "Listen to the Nightingale"'|
|The Twilight Zone||Jerry Harlowe||episode: "The Shelter"|
|1962||The Dick Van Dyke Show||Mr. Eisenbauer||episode: "The Twizzle"|
|Bus Stop||Lawson||episode: "Turn Home Again"|
|Saints and Sinners||Dr. Felixson||episode: "All the Hard Young Men"|
|Lawman||Doc Peters||episode: "The Unmasked"|
|1963||Glynis||Al||episode: "The Pros and Cons"|
|The Twilight Zone||The Genie||episode: "I Dream of Genie"|
|The Lieutenant||District Attorney||episode: "Cool of the Evening"|
|1964||Death Valley Days||Pearlman||episode: "Sixty-Seven Miles of Gold"|
|1966–67||Run for Your Life||Harry Krissel||episode: "Cry Hard, Cry Fast"
episode: "The Treasure Seekers"
|1967||The Andy Griffith Show||Bradford J. Taylor||episode: "Aunt Bee's Cousin"|
|1968||Ironside||Money Howard||episode: "Side Pocket"'|
|episode: "The Sound of Sadness"
episode: "A Girl Named George"
|1969||The Big Valley||Judge Ben Moore||episode: "The Battle of Mineral Springs"|
|The Monk||Tinker||ABC Movie of the Week|
|1969–70||Land of the Giants||Professor Kirmus
episode: "Return of Inidu"
|The Virginian||Billy "Moose" Valentine
Nathaniel E. "Doc" Watson
|episode: "With Love, Bullets, and Valentines"
episode: "The Girl in the Shadows"
|episode: "Cowtown Hustle"
episode: "One for the Road"
|1970||Marcus Welby, M.D.||Mr. Chambers||episode: "Go Get 'Em, Tiger"|
|Daniel Boone||Sweet||episode: "Run for the Money"|
|Nanny and the Professor||Edwin Higgenbotham Botkin||episode: "The Haunted House"|
|1971||Love, American Style||Archie||segment: "Love and the Second Time"|
|1972||Night Gallery||Bullivant||episode: "Dead Weight"|
|1973||The Streets of San Francisco||Tim Murphy||episode: "The Set-Up"|
|1975||Tony Orlando and Dawn||Himself||episode: Episode #1.20|
|Mitzi and 100 Guys||Himself||(TV movie)|
|Cher||Himself||episode: "Episode #1.4"
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Continuing or Single Performance in Variety or Music
|Match Game '75||Himself||5 episodes|
|1976||Donny & Marie||Himself||Episode dated April 6, 1976|
|1980||Charlie's Angels||Edward Jordan||episode: "Angel in Hiding"|
- "Wallace Thomson Albertson Obituary". Los Angeles Times. Legacy.com. April 26, 2015.
- Blau, Eleanor (November 28, 1981). "Jack Albertson, Versatile Star of Stage, Film and TV Series". The New York Times.
- Jones, Jack (November 26, 1981). "Jack Albertson". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 5, 2016.
- Obituary Variety, December 2, 1981.
- "Hollywood Walk of Fame database". HWOF.com. Retrieved October 19, 2015.
- Jack Albertson's Kinship to Cloris Leachman, genealogymagazine.com; accessed October 19, 2015.
- Berkvist, Robert (January 7, 1973). "Jack Spreads A Little Sunshine; Jack Spreads Sunshine". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-05.
- Jack Albertson at the Internet Broadway Database
- Jack Alberston on TCM.com
- Neil Simon's The Sunshine Boys at the American Film Institute Catalog
- Terrace, Vincent. (1998) Radio Programs, 1924-1984: A Catalog of More Than 1800 Shows. McFarland. p.229 ISBN 9780786445134
- ""Listen to the Nightingale", Riverboat". IMDb.com. January 2, 1961. Retrieved February 21, 2013.
- Jack Albertson at Find a Grave
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Jack Albertson.|