Max Wright – The Co-Star upstaged by an Inanimate Object
Best known for being Willie Tanner, the father of the family that took in ALF, George Edward Maxwell Wright, better known by his stage name Max Wright, was born in Detroit, Michigan on August 2nd 1943.
During the 70’s he appeared in various television shows including WKRP in Cincinnati, AfterMASH, Buffalo Bill, Misfits of Science, and The Norm Show. It wasn’t until 1986 when he was thrown into the world spotlight by playing the father of the Tanner family who took in ALF (Alien Life Form) who crash landed on their property. Years later, He publicly stated in an interview that he despised working on ALF, the recording schedules and the set were gruelling to work on and he hated being upstaged by an inanimate object and couldn’t wait for the show to end.
Life after ALF continued and he played the manager of Central Perk in Friends, and he played Gunter Wendt in From Here to The Moon and Dr. Josef Mengele in Playing for Time. He also appeared in Murder She Wrote, Ghost Writer, Quantum Leap, Who’s The Bus, Dudley, The Stand, The Shadow, Early Edition, and Dead By Midnight.
On the stage, he had quite an illustrious career acting in regional theatres across the USA and also on Broadway. He received a Tony nomination for his role in the Broadway play Ivanov in 1998. Working the theatres from 1968 until recent years, his theatre career lasted longer than his Television career.
In 1995 he was diagnosed with Lymphoma and was treated and survived but it returned in 2019 and He died at age 75 at his home in Hermosa Beach California. He had two children and was married to Linda Ybarrondo from 1965 until her death from Breast Cancer in 2017.