Max Wright, best known for playing patriarch Willie Tanner on the sitcom “Alf,” died Wednesday. He was 75.
Wright’s family confirmed his death to TMZ. The actor died in his home in Hermosa Beach, Calif., after years of battling cancer. Wright was diagnosed with Lymphona in 1995.
Wright is most famous for his role as the adoptive father to Alf, a back-talking alien puppet who crash-landed on Earth. The series ran from 1986 to 1990 on NBC and featured Wright in every season. His other television credits include episodes of shows such as “Norm,” “Murphy Brown,” “Friends,” “Quantum Leap,” “Misfits of Science,” “Cheers,” “Buffalo Bill,” “Taxi” and “The Drew Carey Show.”
He also played the manager of the iconic “Friends” coffee shop Central Perk in the early episodes of the series, in addition to Norm MacDonald’s boss in the ABC sitcom “Norm.” His film credits include “All That Jazz,” “Snow Falling on Cedars,” “Reds,” “The Sting II,” “Soul Man” and “The Shadow.”
Wright was also a Tony-nominated stage actor. His Broadway debut came with the 1968 production of “The Great White Hope.” He earned his Tony nomination for his role in the Anton Chekhov play “Ivanov” in 1998.
He is survived by his two children. His wife Linda Ybarrondo died in 2017.
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