Max Wright, the actor best known for portraying the exasperated yet good-natured father of the Tanner clan on the comedy series “ALF,” has died at the age of 75.
Wright died Wednesday at his California home after a lengthy cancer battle. Diagnosed with lymphoma in 1995, Wright had been in remission, according to people close to the actor.
For four seasons, Wright drew laughs as Willie Tanner, the harried homeowner forced to deal with the kooky shenanigans of a wisecracking alien named ALF — an acronym for Alien Life Form — who crash-landed into his garage from the planet Melmac.
Among ALF’s more peculiar quirks was his appetite for cats.
Wright got his start in theater, appearing in the original production of “The Great White Hope,” the 1969 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama starring James Earl Jones and Jane Alexander.
He also landed supporting roles in major films, including “All That Jazz,” “Reds” and “The Sting II.”
But it was “ALF” that thrust Wright into the spotlight. The series was an early hit, copping the People’s Choice Award for Favorite New TV Comedy in 1987.
Although the show generated laughs, Wright found little joy during its 1986-1990 run.
“It was hard work and very grim,” Wright previously told People. “I was hugely eager to have it over with.”
He is survived by two children, Ben and Daisy. His wife of 52 years, Linda Ybarrondo, died from breast cancer in 2017.