Jack Albertson

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Jack Albertson (June 16, 1907 – November 25, 1981) was an American character actor dating to vaudeville.[1] A comedian, dancer, singer, and musician, Albertson is perhaps best known for his roles as Manny Rosen in The Poseidon Adventure (1972) and Grandpa Joe in the 1971 version of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and as Ed Brown in the 1974-1978 television sitcom Chico and the Man. For contributions to the television industry, Jack Albertson was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6253 Hollywood Boulevard.[2]


Early life

Albertson was born in Malden, Massachusetts, the son of Russian-born Jewish immigrants Flora Craft and Leopold Albertson.[3][4] His sister was actress Mabel Albertson. Albertson's mother, a stock actress, supported the family by working in a shoe factory.[3] Albertson dropped out of high school and traveled to New York City in an attempt to make it big in show business. He was too poor to get a room in a flophouse, so in the winter he would sleep on the IRT subway for a nickel, and hide out when the transit workers would clear out the train at the end of the line. In the summer he would sleep in Central Park. Albertson's first real job in show business was with a vaudeville road troupe, the Dancing Verselle Sisters. He was considered a complete entertainer from the old school.

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