file Lola Albright ist gestorben

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08 Apr 2017 18:23 - 08 Apr 2017 18:25 #902436 von Earth Boy
Earth Boy erstellte das Thema: Lola Albright ist gestorben

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When Lola Albright appeared in Alexander Singer’s independent movie A Cold Wind in August (1961), critics and audiences wondered where she had been all their lives. But Albright, who has died aged 92, had been in pictures for 14 years, having made little impact, before getting rave reviews for her rare starring role in this cultish low-budget black-and-white sleeper. Filmgoers might have found it hard to believe that Albright, playing a love-starved 30-something stripper who seduces a teenage boy, was the same rather bland actor who had appeared as the obligatory blonde in several minor westerns in the 50s.

Some might have remembered her as one of three women distracting a ruthless, over-ambitious prizefighter (Kirk Douglas) in Mark Robson’s Champion (1949). Albright played a married sculptor who falls for the boxer. “I don’t fall in love easily,” she tells him, “but I’m going to be serious about this.” Unhappily, the boxer is bought off by her rich husband. Champion was Albright’s first relatively substantial role after four decorative bit parts at MGM.

She was born in Akron, Ohio, to Marion (nee Harvey) and John Albright, both gospel singers. Lola sang in public from an early age and, after school, worked as a receptionist and secretary at radio stations, while modelling on the side, which brought her to Hollywood at the age of 23. Her role in Champion did not lead to better parts, though she co-starred with the fine character actor Jack Carson in the slapstick comedy The Good Humor Man (1950). She and Carson were married a couple of years later.

Some of the better films in which Albright was glimpsed were Tulsa (1949), starring Susan Hayward; Silver Whip (1953), in which she played the saloon singer girlfriend of a gunslinger(Dale Robertson); and The Tender Trap (1955), in which she was one of the many beauties trying to trap a happy-go-lucky bachelor (Frank Sinatra) into marriage. One of her few leading roles, in which she managed to keep a straight face, was as a schoolteacher, some of whose pupils turn to stone, in the silly sci-fi movie The Monolith Monsters (1957).

Much more rewarding were Albright’s TV appearances. In Peter Gunn (1958-61), she portrayed a sultry singer at a smoky jazz club, Mother’s, where her sophisticated gumshoe boyfriend (Craig Stevens) hangs out when he’s not tracking down villains. The series gave her a chance to sing jazz evergreens such as How High the Moon.

This was followed by her role in A Cold Wind in August, as a divorcee hoping to give up stripping, who makes a play for her caretaker’s 17-year-old son (Scott Marlowe). She is touched when he asks her to “go steady”. But what starts off as mere flirtatiousness becomes more serious, and leads to heartbreak when he leaves her for a girl nearer his own age.

It gave a new impulse to her film career, leading to parts in Kid Galahad (1962), in which she is the hard-boiled long-time girlfriend of a cynical boxing manager (Gig Young), who takes on a reluctant fighter (Elvis Presley), and René Clément’s bizarre Joy House (1964), in which she is a wealthy widow with a passion for handing out meals to the poor, assisted by her cousin (Jane Fonda). Best of all was her poignant portrayal of the alcoholic cocktail waitress mother of an adolescent (Tuesday Weld) in George Axelrod’s Lord Love a Duck (1966), which won her the Silver Bear at the Berlin film festival.

Around the same time, she replaced Dorothy Malone, who had to undergo emergency surgery, as Constance Mackenzie on the prime-time TV soap opera Peyton Place (1965-66), which Albright called “one of the biggest challenges of my theatrical career”. Although she gave up her feature-film career in 1968, after the prurient The Impossible Years as the despairing wife of a befuddled husband (David Niven), parents of rock’n’rolling teens, she continued to appear regularly on TV until 1984.

Albright was married and divorced three times.

• Lola Jean Albright, actor, born 20 July 1924; died 23 March 2017

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