When there was talk that a reboot of 1980s anti-pussy, pro-extraterrestrial propaganda series ALF was in the works, I was both HUH-ing in the brains over Hollywood bringing back ALF (I mean, if you’re going to bring back ALF, bring him back in an episode of Stranger Things, duh), and happy, because it meant the cast, including Max Wright, would make a triumphant return to our screens. But then we learned the ALF reboot isn’t a go, and even if it was, Max Wright would not be in it (so really what’s the point of bringing it back now?). Max Wright died yesterday at his home in Hermosa Beach, CA. He was 75.
Max was diagnosed with Lymphoma in 1995, and TMZ said that he was in remission for a long time, but it seems like it came back this year.
Max starred as dorky uptight dad Willie Tanner for all 4 seasons of ALF from 1986 to 1990. Before ALF, he was in many, many TV shows, and he continued to guest star on TV shows after ALF. He was in Ghostwriter, Dudley, Friends, From Earth To The Moon, and was a regular on all 3 seasons of The Norm Show. Max was also in movies like All That Jazz, Reds, Soul Man, The Sting II, and Snow Falling On Cedars. In 1998, he got a Tony nomination for Best Featured Actor In A Play for his role in Ivanov. And most recently, he was in The Public Theater’s productions of Winters Tale and Merchant of Venice at Shakespeare in the Park in 2010.
Max went through a dark-sided moment in the early-aughts. He was arrested twice for DUI, once in 2000 and another time in 2003. The National Enquirer also published pictures back then of Max in “a crack house” smoking something with what they called “homeless men.”
He was married to Linda Ybarrondo for over 50 years until she died of breast cancer in 2017. They had two children together. Spiegel says that at the time of his death, Max was in a relationship with the German man who was nursing him.
I was going to say that the only reboot of ALF that will probably happen is when Willie Tanner and ALF are reunited in heaven. But I’m not sure if Willie wants to deal with ALF’s annoying ass in the afterworld, and ALF isn’t going to heaven since he’s a cat-eating creature from the Ninth Circle.
Rest in peace, Max Wright.
Pic: Warner Bros. TV