Max Wright, Tony Nominee and Dad on TV’s Alf, Dies at 75

Obituaries   Max Wright, Tony Nominee and Dad on TV’s Alf, Dies at 75
Mr. Wright was Tony-nominated for his performance in the 1997 revival of Ivanov.
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Max Wright, who was last on Broadway in the 1998 revival of Twelfth Night, died June 26 at the age of 75 following a lengthy battle with cancer.

The stage and screen star, who passed away at his home in Hermosa Beach, California, was originally diagnosed with lymphoma in 1995 but had been in remission for several years.

Best known for playing the often-exasperated father Willie Tanner on the TV series Alf, the actor's Broadway credits spanned three decades. He made his Main Stem debut in October 1968 in Howard Sackler's The Great White Hope, which co-starred James Earl Jones and Jane Alexander. He also shared the stage with Al Pacino in 1977 in David Rabe's The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel.

Mr. Wright's other Broadway credits included Lunch Hour, King Richard III, The Inspector General, Once in a Lifetime, Stages, and The Cherry Orchard, but it was his performance as Pavel Lebedev in David Hare's adaptation of Anton Chekhov's Ivanov that earned the actor a 1998 Tony nomination for Best Featured Actor in a Play.

His other theatre accolades included a Theatre World Award in 1979 for Once in a Lifetime and a Drama Desk nomination for the aforementioned Ivanov.

Born August 2, 1943, in Detroit, Michigan, Mr. Wright's numerous TV credits included Norm, Friends, Dudley, Quantum Leap, Ghostwriter, Who's the Boss?, Misfits of Science, Benson, Buffalo Bill, Taxi, and WKRP in Cincinnati. He was seen on the silver screen as Joshua Penn in All That Jazz, as well as The Sting II, Fraternity Vacation, Going to the Chapel, Soul Man, The Shadow, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Snow Falling on Cedars.

Mr. Wright is survived by his children, Daisy and Ben. His wife, Linda Ybarrondo, passed away in 2017.