The Death of Jack Albertson

Jack Albertson
1907 – 1981
“Ninety per cent of the things you do in this business are crap.”

ThePoseidon Adventure! My very first PG film ever. This guy was allright. Except for the fact that he and Art Carney were the same person.  Weren’t they?

Best known for his role in Chico and the Man, oppositeFreddie Prinze. When Freddie was going through his problems with drugs, they hadJack work the dialogue into the show that Chico was “staying out toolate” to explain Freddie’s gaunt appearance.  After Freddie died, theshow floundered desperately for one more season

Jack was living in the Hollywood Hills on SunsetPlaza Drive, with his wife, Wallace. They lived at 1618.Here’s the house.

The Man had been diagnosed with colon cancer in 1978. He told friends abouthis disease, but kept it a secret from the public. His comments on the issue:”Actors need jobs too much, we can survive any kind of publicity butserious illness.”

Jack was in remission until the last several weeks of his life, when “itkind of took hold,” according to Jack’s publicist, Tom Masters. He knew itwas fatal, yet he kept on working, and playing golf. Even joked about it.

He died on Wednesday November 25th, 1981 at 1:30 in the afternoon.His wife Wallace was with him. He was 74 years old.

Tom Masters went up to the house before Jack’s body was removed. “He waslying there with a smile on his face,” said Tom. How they got his body outof the house, is beyond me. Lookat how steep it is.

Jack was cremated on the 30th of November, and there was amemorial service held on December 3rd.  No word on what’shappened to his ashes.

 He was also Grandpa Joe in Willy Wonka. That was cool, although it creeps me out that all those people shared the same bed. If they never got out of bed, how did they go to the toilet? 

One of Jack’s last acting jobs was a television film, “Grandpa,Will You Run With Me?” starring the illustrious Quinn Cummings. Nowtell me, when was the last time you heard that name mentioned? Wasshe not the most annoying little troll in the world? The TV flick was releasedposthumously, and if I was Jack, I would have reached from beyond the grave, lita match to all prints of the film, and smacked little Quinn Cummings.

Trivia: Jack was one of the rare performers that earned a Tony, and Emmy andan Oscar. One of three, I think.

More:  Jack was the sister of “Frank,I have one of my sick headaches” Mabel Albertson, Samantha’s mother-in-lawfrom Bewitched.

I thank Bob Siler again, for providing the obituary for this story. Thanks asusual, Bob.

UPDATE, March 2004, from Findadeath friendScott Cokeley:  Jack Albertson….it mentions “not sure where his asheswent”…..according to the Internet Movie Database, his ashes were scattered in the Pacific Ocean(“Neptuned”)

Thanks for the info, Scott andMark for the snappos

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *