Monday, April 22, 2013

Happy Birthday, Eddie Albert!

Eddie Albert was a 2-time Academy Award nominated actor who did comedy and drama, but will probably be best remembered as Oliver Wendall Douglas on Green Acres from 1967-1971. His role was that of a never-satisfied always-cranky big city lawyer looking to get back to nature by running a farm. Somehow, he still managed to be a sympathetic character. Very seldom was Mr. Douglas an out-right unlikeable character, and I believe that was due in equal parts to the writers and to the acting skill of Eddie Albert.

A few years later he appeared opposite Robert Wagner in a "The Sting"-inspired show called, Switch 1975-1978 where they played cons against criminals in the pursuit of justice. Albert was again the hot-head matched with Wagner's suave debonair charm. Add in perky Sharon Gless (a few years before Cagney & Lacey brought her to fame) and you had a fun show.

Albert appeared in the Green Acres reunion special, Return To Green Acres in 1990 when he was 84 years old. Today would have been his 107th birthday. He died in 2005 when he was 99 years old.

The song "Green Acres" was written by composer Vic Mizzy, who wrote pop hits during the Thirties through the Fifties for groups like The Andrews Sisters and The Mills Brothers. This one-minute ditty, sung by Eddie Albert and Eva Gabor, is probably his best known song; it's the only one I recognized on his list of song titles, anyway. Well, except for another very famous TV theme song: Mr. Mizzy also wrote "The Addams Family" theme! 

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