Albright as Edie Hart in Peter Gunn, 1959
|Born||Lola Jean Albright
July 20, 1924
Akron, Ohio, U.S.
|Died||March 23, 2017
Toluca Lake, California, U.S.
|Occupation||Actress, singer, model|
Lola Jean Albright (July 20, 1924 – March 23, 2017) was an American singer and actress. She is best known for playing the sultry singer Edie Hart, the girlfriend of private eye Peter Gunn, on all three seasons of the TV series Peter Gunn.
Albright was born in Akron, Ohio, to Marion A. (née Harvey) and John Paul Albright, both of whom were gospel music singers. The family lived at 552 Fairfield Avenue in the city, although the federal census of 1930 records that Lola, her parents, and her widowed maternal grandmother, Lelia D. Harvey, were all living that year in Akron in the home of Alma L. Barton, Lola's great-aunt, also a widow. That census further documents that Lola's mother was also born in Ohio but her father was a native of North Dakota, who in 1930 supported the family by working as an inspector in a local "Insulating" business.
Albright attended King Grammar School and graduated from West High School in Akron in 1942. She sang in public from a young age and studied piano for 20 years. Beginning when she was 15 years old, she worked after school as a receptionist at radio station WAKR in Akron. She left WAKR at the age of 18 and moved to Cleveland, taking a job there as a stenographer at WTAM radio. Her first radio performance came on WJW in Cleveland. Moving to Chicago, she worked as a photographer’s model and was discovered by a talent scout, which led to her moving to Hollywood at the age of 23.
Albright made her motion picture debut with a small singing role in the 1947 musical comedy The Unfinished Dance and then appeared the following year in two Judy Garland movies, The Pirate and Easter Parade. She first gained studio and public notice in the 1949 film noir production Champion with her portrayal of the wife of a manipulative boxing manager, who falls for a prizefighter played by Kirk Douglas. For the next several years, she appeared in secondary roles in over 20 films, including several 'B' Westerns. Among them was a co-starring role in the slapstick comedy The Good Humor Man in 1950 opposite future husband Jack Carson.
Some of the better films in which Albright appeared were Tulsa (1949), starring Susan Hayward; The Silver Whip in 1953, in which she played the love interest of Dale Robertson; and The Tender Trap in (1955), in which she was one of the several women trying to trap a bachelor, played by Frank Sinatra, into marriage.
A Cold Wind in August
In 1961, she starred in Alexander Singer's cultish A Cold Wind in August, a low-budget, black-and-white independent drama film as a divorced burlesque show stripper in her thirties who becomes involved in a torrid romance with a 17-year-old boy. Critic Pauline Kael offered high praise for Albright's performance. In 1985, The New York Times also lauded Albright's acting in the film. With respect to her personal assessment of her role in A Cold Wind in August, Albright said in 1961, “Some people come up to me and say, ‘Lola, you shouldn’t play that kind of part — it isn’t you.’ Well, I count to 10, bite my tongue and then tell them that I’m an actress: I don’t want to play myself.”
Her performance in A Cold Wind in August gave a fresh impulse to her film career, leading to roles in Elvis Presley's musical Kid Galahad in 1962, in which she played the hard-boiled long-time girlfriend of a cynical boxing manager played by Gig Young, and in French director René Clément's Joy House, as a wealthy widow with a passion for handing out meals to the poor (albeit with an ulterior motive). She portrayed a cocktail waitress in Lord Love a Duck who turns suicidal when she thinks she has ruined her daughter Tuesday Weld's life. The next year she was in the Western epic The Way West.
She gave up her feature-film career in 1968 after completing her work in The Impossible Years, a "generation-gap" farce in which she performed as Alice Kingsley, the despairing wife of a professor of psychiatry played by (David Niven), and the mother of two teenage daughters.
Unlike other film actors who were slow to take the plunge into television, Albright was actively working in the medium from 1951, when she appeared on the anthology series Lux Video Theatre, in the episode "Inside Story". Later she had a recurring role on The Bob Cummings Show in the 1950s and also made guest appearances on such television series as Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Thin Man, Gunsmoke, Rawhide, The Dick Van Dyke Show, My Three Sons, The Beverly Hillbillies, Bonanza, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Medical Center, Kojak, Columbo, McMillan & Wife, Quincy, M.E., Starsky & Hutch, and The Incredible Hulk.
In 1958, Albright was cast in Peter Gunn, the television detective series produced by Blake Edwards and scored by Henry Mancini. She played sultry Edie Hart, a nightclub singer and the romantic interest of Peter Gunn (Craig Stevens). "She was perfect casting for that role because she had an off-the-cuff kind of jazz delivery that was very hard to find," Mancini said in 1992. "Just enough to believe that she’d be singing in that club and that she shouldn’t be on Broadway or doing movies." Over the course of 114 episodes produced for Peter Gunn, Albright sang in 38 of them, covering jazz evergreens such as How High the Moon, A Good Man Is Hard to Find, Easy Street, and Day In, Day Out.
In 1964, Albright appeared again with Stevens on his short-lived CBS drama Mr. Broadway, in the episode "Sticks and Stones Can Break My Bones". Two years later, when actress Dorothy Malone had to undergo emergency surgery, Albright filled in for her as the character Constance Mackenzie on the prime-time soap opera Peyton Place. At the time, Albright called the role "one of the biggest challenges of my theatrical career." She continued to perform in films and to make guest appearances on television until her retirement in 1984.
Columbia Records signed Albright as a vocalist, leading to the release of her album Lola Wants You in 1957. Albright's subsequent role on Peter Gunn and her performances singing on that series led directly to her second album Dreamsville (1959), which was arranged by Henry Mancini and featured his orchestra. Albright is one of the few non movie-soundtrack singers for whom Mancini arranged.
In 1959, Albright was nominated for the Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actress (Continuing Character) in a Dramatic Series for her work on Peter Gunn. In 1966, she won the Silver Bear for Best Actress award at the 16th Berlin International Film Festival for her role in Lord Love a Duck.
Albright married and divorced three times, having no children of her own. Her first marriage, to Cleveland radio announcer Warren Dean, occurred in 1944. They divorced in 1949. Her second husband was actor Jack Carson (1951 to 1958). (Another source says that they married August 1, 1952, and divorced November 10, 1958.) Her third marriage was to Bill Chadney (1961-1975), who played Emmett, the piano player on Peter Gunn. They married on May 19, 1961; separated around 1967; reconciled, then separated again in early 1970 before formally divorcing in 1974.
Last years and death
Following her retirement from acting, Albright spent her remaining years living in Toluca Lake, California. In 2014, she fell and fractured her spine, an injury that contributed to a general decline in her health over the next three years.
|1947||The Unfinished Dance||Fashion house associate||Uncredited|
|1948||The Pirate||Manuela's friend||Uncredited|
|Easter Parade||Hat model||Uncredited|
|The Girl from Jones Beach||Vickie||Uncredited|
|1950||The Good Humor Man||Margie Bellew|
|Beauty on Parade||Kay Woodstock|
|When You're Smiling||Peggy Martin|
|He's a Cockeyed Wonder||Actress in Drive-In movie||Uncredited|
|The Killer That Stalked New York||Francie Bennet|
|Sierra Passage||Ann Walker|
|1952||Arctic Flight||Martha Raymond|
|1953||The Silver Whip||Waco|
|1955||Treasure of Ruby Hills||May|
|The Magnificent Matador||Mona Wilton|
|The Tender Trap||Poppy Masters|
|The Monolith Monsters||Cathy Barrett|
|Oregon Passage||Sylvia Dane|
|1958||Seven Guns to Mesa||Julie Westcott|
|1961||A Cold Wind in August||Iris Hartford|
|1962||Kid Galahad||Dolly Fletcher|
|1966||Lord Love a Duck||Marie Greene|
|1967||The Way West||Rebecca 'Becky' Evans|
|The Money Jungle||Peggy Lido|
|1968||Where Were You When the Lights Went Out?||Roberta Lane|
|The Impossible Years||Alice Kingsley|
|The Helicopter Spies||Azalea|
- The Soundman (1950)
- Screen Snapshots: Hollywood Cowboy Stars (1955)
- Filmmaking on the Riviera (1964)
|1951||Lux Video Theatre||Jennifer||Episode: "Inside Story"|
|Lux Video Theatre||Miriam||Episode: "Stolen Years"|
|Armstrong Circle Theatre||Episode: "Twenty-One Days"|
|1952||All Star Revue||Guest vocalist||Episode: "2.24"|
|Tales of Tomorrow||Carol Williams||Episode: "The Miraculous Serum"|
|1953||Racket Squad||Nancy Metcalfe||Episode: "The System"|
|1954||Fireside Theatre||Joyce||Episode: "Invitation to Marriage"|
|The Pepsi-Cola Playhouse||Jane||Episode: "Borrow My Car"|
|Duffy's Tavern||Episode: Archie Faces Marriage|
|Adventures of the Falcon||Episode: "The Golden Phony"|
|1955||The Bob Cummings Show||Kay Michaels||Episodes: "Bob Meets Fonda's Sister", "Too Many Cooks", "Bob Falls in Love", "Hawaii Calls" and "Wedding, Wedding, Who's Having a Wedding?"|
|Screen Directors Playhouse||Nancy Wheeler||Episode: "Arroyo"|
|It's a Great Life||Marilyn||Episode: "Double Date"|
|Gunsmoke||Lucy Hunt||Episode: "Reed Survives"|
|1956||The Bob Cummings Show||Kay Michaels||Episode: "The Letter"|
|Four Star Playhouse||Beverly Hudson||Episode: "No Limit"|
|The People's Choice||Dancer||Episode: "Sock, the Budget Balancer"|
|Celebrity Playhouse||Episode: "Girl at Large"|
|The Red Skelton Hour||Guest (as herself)||Episode: "Willie Resists Girls"|
|The Red Skelton Hour||Priscilla||Episode: "The First Thanksgiving or Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims"|
|1957||The Bob Cummings Show||Kay Michaels||Episode: "Bob Calls Kay's Bluff"|
|The Red Skelton Hour||Foreign Spy||Episode: "Bolivar the Repairman"|
|Code 3||Carol||Episode: "Sunset Strip"|
|1958||The Thin Man||Katherine West||Episode: "The Tennis Champ"|
|Panic!||Karen Adams||Episode: "Fingerprints"|
|Target||Episode: "The Jewel Thief "|
|Peter Gunn||Edie Hart||Episodes: "The Kill", "Streetcar Jones", "The Vicious Dog", "The Blind Pianist", "The Frog", "Lynn's Blues", "Rough Buck", "Image of Sally", "The Man with the Scar", "The Torch", "The Leaper".|
|1959||Peter Gunn||Edie Hart||Episodes: "The Fuse", "Let's Kill Timothy", "Murder on the Midway", "Pecos Pete", "Scuba", "Edie Finds a Corpse", "The Ugly Frame", "The Lederer Story", "Breakout", "Skin Deep", "February Girl", "Love Me to Death", "The Family Affair", "Lady Windbell's Fan", "Bullet for a Badge", "Kill from Nowhere", "Vendetta", "The Coffin", "The Portrait", "Protection", "Crisscross", "Edge of the Knife", "Death Is a Red Rose", "The Feathered Doll", "Kidnap", "The Rifle", "The Game", "The Price Is Murder", "The Briefcase", "The Wolfe Case".|
|1960||Peter Gunn||Edie Hart||Episodes: "Hot Money", "Spell of Murder", "Sentenced", "The Hunt", "Sing a Song of Murder", "The Long, Long Ride", "The Deadly Proposition", "The Murder Clause", "The Dummy", "Slight Touch of Homicide", "Wings of an Angel", "Death Watch", "Witness in the Window", "Send a Thief", "The Semi-Private Eye", "The Heiress", "Baby Shoes", "The Passenger", "The Maître d'", "The Candidate", "The Judgement", "The Death Frame", "Death Across the Board", "The Long Green Kill", "Take Five for Murder", "Dream Big", "Dream Deadly", "Sepi".|
|Michael Shayne||Marie Leonard||Episode: "Framed in Blood"|
|1961||Peter Gunn||Edie Hart||Episodes: "The Royal Roust", "Bullet in Escrow", "I Know It's Murder", "A Kill and a Half", "The Deep End", "Portrait in Leather", "Come Dance with Me and Die", "Cry Love, Cry Murder", "A Penny Saved", "Short a Motive", "The Most Deadly Angel", "Till Death Do Us Part", "Death Is a Four Letter Word", "Deadly Intrusion", "Voodoo", "Murder on the Line".|
|The United States Steel Hour||Episode: "Famous"|
|King of Diamonds||Margie Howard||Episode: "The Wizard of Ice"|
|The Detectives||Edna Craven||Episode: "The Queen of Craven Point"|
|Adventures in Paradise||Nita Graham||Episode: "One Way Ticket"|
|General Electric Theater||Cathy Armstrong||Episode: "Cat in the Cradle"|
|1962||Alfred Hitchcock Presents||Lisa||Episode: "The Woman Who Wanted to Live"|
|Saints and Sinners||Emily Fielder||Episode: "Dear George, the Siamese Cat Is Missing"|
|My Three Sons||Paulette Francis||Episode: "Going Steady"|
|The Alfred Hitchcock Hour||Ruth Burke||Episode: "The Black Curtain"|
|1963||The Beverly Hillbillies||Gloria Buckles||Episode: "Granny's Spring Tonic"|
|The Third Man||Edie||Episode: "The Way of McEagle"|
|The Eleventh Hour||Lillian Marnell||Episode: " Cold Hands, Warm Heart"|
|Burke's Law||Shirley Mills||Episode: "Who Killed Harris Crown?"|
|1964||Burke's Law||Jennifer Carlisle||Episode: "Who Killed WHO IV?"|
|Burke's Law||Eve Chapin||Episode: " Who Killed Cassandra Cass?"|
|The Alfred Hitchcock Hour||Eva Martin||Episode: "Misadventure"|
|The Dick Van Dyke Show||Paula Marshall||Episode: "How to Spank a Star"|
|Dr. Kildare||Gertrude Carey||Episode: "A Nickel's Worth of Prayer"|
|Rawhide||Maribelle Ashton-Warner||Episode: "Incident of the Banker"|
|Mr. Broadway||Duff Daniels||Episode: "Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones"|
|Wagon Train||Leonora Parkman||Episode: " Those Who Stay Behind"|
|1965||Burke's Law||Peggy Frost||Episode: "Who Killed Mother Goose?"|
|Burke's Law||DeeDee Booker||Episode: "Who Killed Nobody Somehow?"|
|Laredo||Lilah Evans||Episode: "Above the Law"|
|Will Banner||TV Movie'|
|Rawhide||Lottie Denton||Episode: "The Gray Rock Hotel"|
|Branded||Ann Williams||Episode: "Mightier Than the Sword"|
|Bonanza||Ann||Episode: "The Search"|
|Peyton Place||Constance Mackenzie Carson||Episodes: "2.39", "2.40","2.41" (credit only), "2.42", "2.43" (credit only), "2.44", "2.45", "2.46" (credit only), "2.47", "2.48" (credit only).|
|1966||Peyton Place||Constance Mackenzie Carson||Episodes: "2.49", "2.50" (credit only), "2.51" (credit only), "2.52".|
|Branded||Ann Williams||Episodes: "Kellie" and "Cowards Die Many Times".|
|Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre||Edith Woodland||Episode: "Runaway Boy"|
|1967||How I Spent My Summer Vacation||Mrs. Pine||TV Movie|
|Bonanza||Dolly Bantree||Episode: "A Bride for Buford"|
|Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre||Vickie Tate||Episode: "To Sleep, Perchance to Scream"|
|The Man from U.N.C.L.E.||Azalea||Episodes: The Prince of Darkness Affair: Parts I and II . Released in 1968 as the feature-length film The Helicopter Spies.|
|Ready and Willing||Wilma O'Brien||TV Movie|
|Cimarron Strip||Stacey Houston||Episode: "The Beast That Walks Like a Man"|
|1972||Medical Center||Madeline Barris||Episode: " Condemned"|
|1973||The ABC Afternoon Playbreak||Mary Fiske||Episode: "My Secret Mother"|
|Kojak||Celia Lamb||Episode: "The Corrupter"|
|1974||Medical Center||Grace||Episode: "No Escape"|
|1975||The Nurse Killer||Hannah||TV Movie|
|Police Story||Minnie||Episode: "The Cutting Edge"|
|1976||McMillan & Wife||Nurse Fisher||Episode: "The Deadly Cure"|
|Starsky and Hutch||Lola Turkel||Episode: "Bounty Hunter"|
|Columbo||Clare Daley||Episode: "Fade in to Murder"|
|1977||Delta County, U.S.A.||Dossie Wilson||TV Movie|
|Terraces||Dorothea Cabe||TV Movie|
|1978||Switch||Millie Tate||Episodes: "Who Killed Lila Craig?"|
|1981||The Incredible Hulk||Elizabeth Collins||Episodes: "The First Parts 1 and 2"|
|1983||Quincy M.E.||Liz McKenna||Episode: "Murder on Ice"|
|1984||Airwolf||Beatrice Moretti||Episode: "Sins of the Past", (final television appearance)|
- "The Fifteenth Census of the United States: 1930", Akron, Ohio, Ward 8, Block 136, Summit County, April 15, 1930. Bureau of the Census, United States Department of Commerce. Digital copy of original enumeration page available on FamilySearch, a free online genealogical database provided as a public service by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah; retrieved July 26, 2017.
- Price, Mark J. (March 23, 2017). "Akron native Lola Albright, glamorous Hollywood actress, dies at age 92". Akron Beacon Journal. Retrieved April 1, 2017.
- Aaker, Everett (2006). Encyclopedia of Early Television Crime Fighters. McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-7864-6409-8, pp. 6-8.
- Barnes, Mike (March 24, 2017). "Lola Albright, Sultry Actress in 'Peter Gunn' and Kirk Douglas' 'Champion' Dies at 92". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 1, 2017.
- Shearer, Lloyd (October 29, 1961). "Lola Albright". Independent Star-News. pp. 96–97. Retrieved October 4, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- Bergan, Ronald (March 31, 2017). "Lola Albright obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved April 1, 2017.
- "Elvgren on beauty". Chicago Tribune. March 31, 2017. Retrieved April 1, 2017.
- Kael, Pauline (1982). 5001 Nights at the Movies (Hardback). New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston. p. 145. ISBN 0-8050-1367-9.
- Thompson, Howard. (1985, October 5). "CRITICS' CHOICE; CABLE TV", The New York Times
- Schudel, Matt (March 25, 2017). "Lola Albright, alluring actress in stylish ‘Peter Gunn’ TV series, dies at 92". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 1, 2017.
- "Lola Albright To Substitute In Peyton Place". The North Adams Transcript. October 9, 1965. p. 11. Retrieved October 4, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- Lola Albright. "Lola Wants You". Retrieved 9 September 2012.
- Lola Albright with Henry Mancini and his orchestra. "Dreamsville". Retrieved September 9, 2012.
- "Lola Albright". Television Academy. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
- "Brlinale 1966: Prize Winners". berlinale.de. Retrieved 2010-02-17.
- Lola Albright on IMDb
- McNary, Dave (2017). Peter Gunn Star Lola Albright Dies at 92, Variety.com, March 26, 2017; retrieved July 26, 2017.
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