‘Green Acres’ Star Eddie Albert Dies at 99

Eddie Albert, best known for his portral of Oliver Douglas in the situation comedy “Green Acres,” died yesterday at the age of 99.

‘Green Acres’ Star Eddie Albert Dies at 99 (AP)

Photo: Actor Eddie Albert, best known for his starring role as a big-city attorney turned farmer on the television comedy series 'Green Acres,' has died at age 99, a spokesman said May 27, 2005. Albert is pictured arriving as a guest for the fourth annual International Achievement in Arts Awards in Beverly Hills in this October 11, 1998 file photo. REUTERS/Fred Prouser/Files Eddie Albert, the actor best known as the constantly befuddled city slicker-turned-farmer in television’s “Green Acres,” has died. He was 99.

Albert died of pneumonia Thursday at his home in the Pacific Palisades area, in the presence of caregivers including his son Edward, who was holding his hand at the time. “He died so beautifully and so gracefully that literally this morning I don’t feel grief, I don’t feel loss,” Edward Albert told The Associated Press.

Albert achieved his greatest fame on “Green Acres” as Oliver Douglas, a New York lawyer who settles in a rural town with his glamorous wife, played by Eva Gabor, and finds himself perplexed by the antics of a host of eccentrics, including a pig named Arnold Ziffel. He was nominated for Academy Awards as supporting actor in “Roman Holiday” (1953) and “The Heartbreak Kid” (1972).

The actor moved smoothly from the Broadway stage to movies to television. Besides the 1965-1971 run in “Green Acres,” he costarred on TV with Robert Wagner in “Switch” from 1975 to 1978 and was a semi-regular on “Falcon Crest” in 1988.

He had a long run although, to be honest, it never occured to me that he was still alive.

IMDB has a detailed retrospective of Albert’s career.

Update (0824, May 29): Several commenters have noted Albert’s military service during WWII. This being Memorial Day weekend, it’s especially worth noting:

The outbreak of World War II sent Albert into the U.S. Navy as a junior officer, and he distinguished himself during 1943 in the fighting on Tarawa. Assigned as the salvage officer in the shore party of the second landing wave (which engaged in heavy fighting with the Japanese), his job was to examine military equipment abandoned on the battlefield to see if it should be retrieved; but what he found were wounded men who had been left behind under heavy fire. Albert took them off the beach in a small launch not designed for that task, earning commendations for his bravery. A bona fide hero, he was sent home to support a War Bond drive (though he never traded on his war experiences, and didn’t discussing them in detail on-camera until the 1990s).

The days when stars put their careers on hold to put on a uniform during wartime are, with the occasional exception like Pat Tillman, long gone.

FILED UNDER: General, Popular Culture
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Somewhat more topical (because of the new one being released) was his role as the warden in the original Longest Yard. Maybe the new release killed him, based on the reviews I am seeing.

  2. MIKE says:

    GOD BLESS HIS SOUL. IF I’M CORRECT I THINK MR. ALBERT WAS A MARINE IN WW2 AND SAW COMBAT…DOES ANYONE HAVE A LINK?

  3. Steve says:

    Eddie Albert was a Navy officer in WWII who
    ran a salvage boat at the battle of Tarawa.

  4. Eneils Bailey says:

    I would like to thank him for his service to our country. Green Acres was a corny show, but I still catch it now and then. Loved the characters on that show, including Mr. Albert

  5. David Blue says:

    Thank you Eddie Albert.