‘Alf’ Actor Max Wright Dies @ 75

Max Wright, who became known as Willie Tanner on Alf (1986-1990), died Wednesday of cancer. He was 75.

Max Wright, August 2, 1943-June 26, 2019 (Images via NBC)

Wright had been diagnosed with lymphoma in 1995.

A stage actor first, Wright made his TV debut on an episode of Great Performances in 1974, in a filmed version of the play In Fashion. His first proper TV role was in the made-for-TV movie Red Alert (1977), about a malfunctioning nuclear power plant.

Film roles included All That Jazz (1979), Reds (1981), The Sting II (1983), The Shadow (1994) and Grumpier Old Men (1995), but he was a much more familiar face on TV, appearing in For Ladies Only (1981) and in recurring roles on Buffalo Bill (1983-1984) and Misfits of Science (1985-1986) before his Alf success.

After playing the owner of the Friends coffee shop briefly (1994 & 1995), he went on to recurring roles on Ghostwriter (1992), Dudley (1993) and Norm (1999-2001), the latter of which spawned a TV reunion movie in 2005 that became his final on-screen appearance.

Wright, who made his Broadway debut in 1968, was Tony-nominated for Ivanov in 1998.

In 2001, Wright was outed by National Enquirer, which published salacious images of him smoking crack and becoming intimate with other man, and which alleged he was a drug and sex addict. He was later arrested on drunk-driving charges.

Wright's wife of 52 years died in 2017, but they had reportedly split many years before. He is survived by their two children together, Ben and Daisy.

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