Jack Albertson: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jack Albertson

as 'The Man' in 'Chico and the Man'
Born June 16, 1907(1907-06-16)
Malden, Massachusetts,
United States
Died November 25, 1981 (aged 74)
Hollywood, California,
United States
Other name(s) Jackie Alberts
Occupation Actor, comedian, dancer, singer
Years active 1938–1981
Spouse(s) Wallace Thompson (1952-1981) (his death) 1 child

Jack Albertson (June 16, 1907 – November 25, 1981) was an American character actor dating to vaudeville. A comedian, dancer, singer, and musician, Albertson is perhaps best known for his roles as Manny Rosen in The Poseidon Adventure (1972) and Grandpa Joe in the 1971 version of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and as Ed Brown in the 1974-1978 television sitcom Chico and the Man. For contributions to the television industry, Jack Albertson was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6253 Hollywood Boulevard.[1]


Early life

Albertson was born in Malden, Massachusetts, the son of Russian-born Jewish immigrants Flora Craft and Leopold Albertson.[2][3] His sister was actress Mabel Albertson. Albertson's mother, a stock actress, supported the family by working in a shoe factory.[2] Albertson dropped out of high school and traveled to New York City in an attempt to make it big in show business. He was too poor to get a room in a flophouse, so in the winter he would sleep on the IRT subway for a nickel, and hide out when the transit workers would clear out the train at the end of the line. In the summer he would sleep in Central Park. Albertson's first real job in show business was with a vaudeville road troupe, the Dancing Verselle Sisters. He was considered a complete entertainer from the old school.



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 including High Button Shoes, Top Banada, 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). He was also known for two radio programs, Just Plain Bill and The Jack Albertson Comedy Show.


Albertson appeared in over 30 films. He won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in the 1968 film The Subject Was Roses. He appeared as Charlie Bucket's Grandpa Joe in Willy Wonka and 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 was not asked to reprise his role in the movie version of The Sunshine Boys. One classic film he had a minor role in was "Miracle on 34th St." where he played the mail clerk who directed the mail to Kris Kringle at the NY courthouse. This act led to the court ruling in favor of Santa Claus.


Albertson was a radio performer and for a time a regular on the Milton Berle show in the late 1940s.


Television also saw much of Albertson's talent. He appeared in dozens of series, including recurring roles in Dean Jones's NBC series Ensign O'Toole from 1962-1963 and Jack Sheldon's short-lived Run, Buddy, Run on CBS in 1966. He starred in Chico and the Man, for which Albertson won an Emmy, making him one of the few entertainers to win the triple crown of visual entertainment (a Tony, an Oscar, and an Emmy). He guest starred in such series as NBC's Happy starring Ronnie Burns, the syndicated State Trooper starring Rod Cameron, ABC's Bus Stop, which aired in the 1961-1962 season and on CBS's Glynis sitcom/drama combination, starring Glynis Johns and Keith Andes, which aired for thirteen weeks in the fall of 1963. In a 1967 episode of The Andy Griffith Show He played Aunt Bee's ne'er-do-well cousin, Bradford J. Taylor.

Personal life and death

He resided for years in West Hollywood, California. In 1978, he was diagnosed with colorectal cancer, but kept this information private so he could continue to act. He made two television movies, My Body, My Child (1982) and Grandpa, Will You Run With Me? (1982), which were released posthumously.

Albertson died on November 25, 1981. He and sister Mabel Albertson were both cremated and their ashes scattered in the Pacific Ocean.


Year Film Role Notes
1938 Next Time I Marry Reporter unconfirmed
1940 Strike Up the Band Barker uncredited
1947 Miracle on 34th Street Post Office mail sorter next to Lou uncredited
1952 Anything Can Happen Flower Vendor uncredited
1954 Top Banana Vic Davis
1955 Bring Your Smile Along Mr. Jenson
1956 Over-Exposed Les Bauer uncredited
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
1958 Teacher's Pet Guide
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
1969 Justine Cohen
'Changes The Father
1970 Squeeze A Flower Alfredo Brazzi
Rabbit, Run Marty Tothero
1971 Once Upon A Dead Man
Willy Wonka and 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 Hunter (Amos Slade) voice
Dead and Buried William G. Dobbs
1982 The American Adventure Mark Twain

Television credits - recurrent roles

Year Title Role Notes
1957-1959 The Thin Man Lt. Harry Evans 14 episodes
1959-1962 The Jack Benny Program Reporter 6 episodes
1961-1964 Mister Ed Paul Fenton 7 episodes
1962 Room for One More Walter Burton
1971-1972 Dr. Simon Locke Dr. Andrew Sellers
1974-1978 Chico and the Man Ed Brown 1975 - Nominated - Emmy Award
1976 - Won - Emmy Award
1977 - Nominated - Emmy Award
1978 Grandpa Goes to Washington Senator Joe Kelley

Television - guest roles

Year Title Role Notes
1956 I Love Lucy Helicopter Dispatcher "Bon Voyage" episode
1956 Crusader Ernie Duchek "The Syndicate"
1956 Sheriff of Cochise Greenbriar Merritt "Closed for Repairs"
1957-1960 Have Gun, Will Travel 3 episodes
1958 Bachelor Father "Bentley and the Finishing School" episode
1960 The Gale Storm Show Freddy Morell 1 episode
1960 The Tab Hunter Show Coach 1 episode
1959-1961 The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis various roles 5 episodes
1961-1963 The Twilight Zone 2 episodes
1962 The Dick Van Dyke Show Mr. Eisenbauer 1 episode
1966-1967 Run for Your Life Harry Krissel 3 episodes
1967 The Andy Griffith Show Bradford J. Taylor 1 episode
1968 Ironside Money Howard 1 episode
1968-1972 Bonanza 2 episodes
1969 The Big Valley Judge Ben Moore 1 episode
1969-1970 Land of the Giants 2 episodes
The Virginian 2 episodes
1969-1974 Gunsmoke 3 episodes
1970 Marcus Welby, M.D. Mr. Chambers 1 episode
Daniel Boone Sweet 1 episode
Nanny and the Professor Edwin Higgenbotham Botkin 1 episode
1971 Love, American Style Archie segment "Love and the Second Time"
1972 Night Gallery Bullivant 1 episode
1973 The Streets of San Francisco Tim Murphy 1 episode
1975 Tony Orlando and Dawn Himself 1 episode
Mitzi and 100 Guys Himself 1 episode
Cher Himself Emmy Award
1976 Donny & Marie Himself Episode dated 6 April 1976
1980 Charlie's Angels Edward Jordan 1 episode

See also


External links

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address