Norman Alden (born Norman Adelberg, September 13, 1924 – July 27, 2012) was an American character actor who performed in television programs and motion pictures. He first appeared on television on The 20th Century Fox Hour in 1957. He provided the voice of Kay in The Sword in the Stone (1963), and had a notable role in I Never Promised You a Rose Garden. His acting career began in 1957 and lasted nearly 50 years. He retired from acting in 2006.
September 13, 1924
Fort Worth, Texas, U.S.
|Died||July 27, 2012 87) (aged|
|Resting place||Hollywood Forever Cemetery|
|Other names||Norm Alden|
|Alma mater||Texas Christian University|
|Years active||1957–2006 (retired)|
|Spouse(s)||Sharon Hayden |
(1966–1978; divorced); 2 children
|Partner(s)||Linda Thieben |
(c. 1980–2012; his death)
Alden was born in Fort Worth, Texas and was the son of Ben Adelberg and Esther Covinsky Adelberg. He served in the United States Army during World War II and returned to Fort Worth to attend Texas Christian University under the GI Bill of Rights. Some of his acting ability was developed while at TCU with participation in the on-campus theater. He had two children.
Alden appeared in dozens of television series in the 1950s and 1960s. He was cast in three episodes in 1958 and 1959 of ABC's The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin. He was cast in six guest-starring roles between 1959 and 1962, mostly as Seaman Pulaski, on Jackie Cooper's CBS sitcom/drama, Hennesey. In 1959 and 1960, he was cast as Corporal Lucius Grundy in fifteen episodes of the series Not for Hire. From 1959 to 1961, he appeared as different characters in nine episodes of the NBC crime drama, The Lawless Years. In 1961, he portrayed Shad Welty in the episode "Ordeal at Dead Tree" of the ABC/Warner Brothers western series, Bronco, starring Ty Hardin. Also in 1961, he appeared in the episode "The Four" with Jack Elam in the western series, Lawman, starring John Russell. He guest starred as well on the CBS sitcom, Pete and Gladys. In 1970, he appeared in an episode of The Silent Force. Alden played the police captain in the 1988 NBC TV movie Man Against the Mob starring George Peppard.
Alden portrayed Johnny Ringo in the 1955 western series, The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, with Hugh O'Brian in the title role. Alden also played in Barnaby Jones in the episode titled, “The Last Contract” (12/31/1974). Alden played Coach Leroy Fedder in the 1970s television series, Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman. He also voiced the ringmaster, Hank, on the animated television series Devlin. He played the lead in the film Andy. The actor also played a former cop bent on getting his revenge against Steve McGarrett in the season 4 episode of Hawaii Five-O called, "Rest in Peace, Somebody."
Other roles that he has portrayed include the AC Delco repairman, Lou the Mechanic for seven years in a series of advertisements, Professor Frank Heflin in Electra Woman and Dyna Girl, both Aquaman and Green Arrow in the animated TV franchise Super Friends, two episodes of The Andy Griffith Show, and Major Truman Landon in Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970). He provided the voice of Sir Kay in the 1963 Disney film The Sword in the Stone, and Kranix in the 1986 film The Transformers: The Movie. In 1976, Alden appeared as Big Daddy Dawson, Flo’s first ex-husband on the CBS TV series, Alice (TV series). He was in one episode of Dallas as Senator William Orloff the episode #3 Spy In The House Season 1 aka Mini Series. In Season 1 of The Dukes of Hazzard he played Chief Lacey of the Springville Police in the episode "Deputy Dukes"; he returned to the role in the second-season episode "The Ghost of General Lee". He appeared as Lou Caruthers, the owner of the coffee shop in Back to the Future (1985) and the color-blind cameraman Bill in Tim Burton's Ed Wood (1994). He appeared in Kansas City Bomber (1972), which starred Raquel Welch. In 1966 he also played The Joker's "Henchman #1" in episodes 25 and 26, titled 'The Joker trumps an ace' and 'Batman Sets the Pace', of the Batman TV series. In 1970–71, he played Tom Williams on My Three Sons.
Alden died of natural causes at age 87 on July 27, 2012, in Los Angeles. He is buried in Beth Olam Mausoleum, South Wall, Elevation 3, Crypt G-130, Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Hollywood.[Find-a-Grave Memorial No. 94483176]
- Hear Me Good (1957) as Master of Ceremonies
- The Power of the Resurrection (1958) as Gate Guard
- The Walking Target (1960) as Sam Russo
- Operation Bottleneck (1961) as Cpl. Lester 'Merc' Davenport
- Portrait of a Mobster (1961) as Bo Wetzel
- Secret of Deep Harbor (1961) as Barney Haines
- The Nutty Professor (1963) as Football Player / Student
- The Sword in the Stone (1963) as Sir Kay (voice)
- Man's Favorite Sport? (1964) as John Screaming Eagle
- Bedtime Story (1964) as Dubin
- The Patsy (1964) as Bully at the Gym
- Andy (1965) as Andy Chadakis
- Red Line 7000 (1965) as Pat
- The Wild Angels (1966) as Medic
- First to Fight (1967) as Sgt. Schmidtmer
- Good Times (1967) as Warren
- Chubasco (1968) as Frenchy
- Fever Heat (1968) as Herbert Herpgruve
- The Devil's Brigade (1968) as MP Lieutenant
- Killers Three (1968) as Guthrie
- Listen to the Man (1969)
- Changes (1969) as Jump Rope
- All the Loving Couples (1969) as Mitch Burnett
- The Great Bank Robbery (1969) as The Great Gregory - Balloonist
- Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970) as Major Truman Landon
- Stand Up and Be Counted (1972) as Businessman
- Ben (1972) as Policeman
- Where Does It Hurt? (1972) as Katzen
- Kansas City Bomber (1972) as Horrible Hank Hopkins
- Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (1972) as Brain Technician
- Blood, Black and White (1973)
- Planet Of The Apes (1974, TV Series) as Zako
- The Hindenburg (1975) as Detective Baker, N.Y.P.D.
- I Never Promised You a Rose Garden (1977) as McPherson
- Semi-Tough (1977) as Coach Alvin Parks
- Cloud Dancer (1980) as Dr. Putnam
- Borderline (1980) as Willie Lambert
- Victor/Victoria (1982) as Man in Hotel with Shoes
- Back to the Future (1985) as Lou Caruthers
- The Transformers: The Movie (1986) as Kranix (voice)
- Off the Mark (1987) as Coach Elam
- They Live (1988) as Foreman
- Cutting Class (1989) as Officer Fondulac
- Roller Blade Warriors: Taken by Force (1989) as Bartender
- Ed Wood (1994) as Cameraman Bill
- Patch Adams (1998) as Truck Driver
- K-PAX (2001) as Babbling Man
- Slotnik, Daniel E. (August 1, 2012). "Norman Alden, Character Actor, Dies at 87". The New York Times.
- "Oscar Was Great Help". Gadsden Times. February 17, 1978. Retrieved March 23, 2010.
- "The New York Times". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-03-03.
- Barnes, Mike (July 29, 2012). "Character Actor Norman Alden Dies at 87". The Hollywood Reporter.
- "Small Wonder: Neighborhood Watch". IMDb. December 6, 1986.
- "Actor Norman Alden dies aged 87". BBC News. July 30, 2012. Retrieved 2012-07-30.
Demetria Fulton; previewed Alden in Barnaby Jones in the episode titled, The Last Contract”(12/31/1974).