Tuesday, May 31, 2005
And Eddie makes three...
Is it coincidence or conspiracy that the villainous warden from the original "The Longest Yard" passed away right before the opening of the Adam Sandler remake? Eddie Albert adept at both playing gentle, nice guys, and evil guys who no one suspected because they looked like gentle, nice guys, passed away on Thursday, May 26th of pneumonia. Unlike the other two character actors who passed away this week, I never met him ("But haven't you met all obscure character actors from the seventies?" you ask... sigh...) . But he is one of my favorite "Columbo" murderers (he's witnessed by a neurotic Suzanne Pleshette, but instead of bumping her off, he proceeds to court her!) and you can see his episode "Dead Weight" in the "Columbo- The Complete First Season" dvd collection.
Most notices name check the fact that played "Warden Hazen" in the original "The Longest Yard". But the director, Robert Aldrich, first cast him as an evil army captain in the 1956 film "Attack!". I would advise you watch this as it shows an Eddie Albert who loses it in the midst of battle. This guy had real range and, fortunately, there were enough people in Hollywood who recognized this and cast him appropriately.