Thursday, September 28, 2006

Edward Albert R.I.P.

There are times that I worry that this might become "the Death Blog." This is one of those times. Composer Sir Malcolm Arnold and playwright Joseph Hayes passed on recently. And now yet more artists have died. Today I will euologise one, actor Edward Albert. I will cover two more tomorrow.

Edward Albert was the son of the late Eddie Albert, who passed on just last year at the age of 99. Edward Albert died September 22 after a battle with lung cancer.

Albert was born February 20, 1951 to actor Eddie Albert and actor/dancer Margo. His middle name "Laurence" was taken from his godfather, acting legend Sir Laurence Olivier. He made his debut on the big screen at age 13 playing a runaway in the post-Civil War era film The Fool Killer. He attended both Oxford University and UCLA. In 1972, he was cast opposite Goldie Hawn in Butterflies are Free. In that film he played a young blind man who was trying to get away from an overbearing mother.

Albert was a prolific actor, with an active career in both movies and television. He played in such films as 40 Carats, Midway, Galaxy of Terror, The Greek Tycoon, and Guarding Tess. On television he appeared on such shows as Kung Fu, Ellery Queen, Police Story, and Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman. He was a regular on the soap opera Port Charles from 1997 to 1998. Albert also appeared on stage, playing in the musical Cesar and Ruben in North Hollywood in 2003.

Like his father before him, Edward Albert was an activist. He was so active in campaigning for the preservation of Escondido Canyon that the e Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy named the area the Edward Albert Escondido Trail and Waterfalls not long before his death. Albert had served on both California's Native American Heritage Commission and the California Coastal Commission. He was active in protecting the rights of the Chumash tribe, native to California. For the last ten years Edward Albert cared for his father, who was suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

If anything else can be said about Edwar Albert, it is that he was his father's son. Although his career was not nearly as successful and he did not live nearly as long, both men were talented actors who also had a social conscience. In the case of both Albert's, their legacy goes far beyond the movies and TV shows they made. Even if Edward Albert and his father had not been talented actors, their concern for the environment and for other peoples would be enough to warrant great sadness at their deaths.

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