Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

R.I.P. ALF dad Max Wright

Max Wright (left) and Anne Shedeen with ALF in 1986
Photo: Michael Ochs Archives (Getty Images)

Variety reports that actor Max Wright, most famous for his roles on sitcoms like ALF and Norm, has died at his home in Los Angeles. He was 75. He had previously been diagnosed with lymphoma.

Wright was a character actor whose face was familiar on the big and small screens. He also had a long career on the stage, making his Broadway debut in 1968 with The Great White Hope. he was nominated for a Best Actor Tony in 1998 for Ivanov.


In film, he started out in with small roles in prestige pictures like Bob Fosse’s All That Jazz and Warren Beatty’s Reds. His other films included The Sting 2, Fraternity Vacation, Soul Man, and Grumpier Old Men.

Wright was more successful on TV, where he guest-starred in a variety of shows from Hart To Hart to WKRP In Cincinnati before becoming part of the ensemble of the short-lived sitcom Buffalo Bill in 1983. A few years later, he landed the role he became best-known for: Willie Tanner, whose family gets an unexpected long-term visitor—an Alien Life Form, or ALF. The unlikely hit ran for four seasons. Wright then became a regular on Norm MacDonald’s Norm in 1999. More recently, he went back to his stage roots, playing a shepherd in The Winter’s Tale for a Shakespeare In The Park production in New York’s Central Park in 2010.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

About the author

Gwen Ihnat

Gwen Ihnat is the Editorial Coordinator for The A.V. Club.