Max Wright, veteran TV actor and Willie Tanner on ALF, dies at 75
Max Wright, known for playing father Willie Tanner on the hit ’80s sitcom ALF, has died. He was 75.
Wright’s family confirmed his death to TMZ. The actor reportedly died at his home in Hermosa Beach, Calif., after a battle with cancer. Wright was diagnosed with lymphoma in 1995, but had been in remission for many years.
Wright was a veteran actor of the small screen, popping up on a great many shows over a three-decade career, including Cheers, Taxi, WKRP in Cincinnati, and Mad About You. He also appeared in such films as Reds and Bob Fosse‘s All That Jazz, and the miniseries adaptation of Stephen King‘s The Stand.
Wright had a substantial stage career in addition to his onscreen work. He received a Tony Award nomination in 1998 for his performance in Anton Chekhov’s Ivanov.
He is best known, however, for his role on ALF, playing a social worker and patriarch whose family plays host to a cat-eating extraterrestrial. The sitcom ran for four seasons, from 1986 to 1990, on NBC and has become a cultural touchstone.
Wright’s wife, Linda Ybarrondo, died in 2017. The couple married in 1965 and had two children together.