Lola Albright Biography
Died At Age: 92
Sun Sign: Cancer
Also Known As: Lola Jean Albright
Born in: Akron, Ohio
Famous as: Singer
Spouse/Ex-: Bill Chadney (m. 1961 - div. 1975), Jack Carson (m. 1952 - div. 1958), Warren Dean (m. 1944 - div. 1949)
father: John Paul Albright
mother: Marion Alma Albright
place of death: Toluca Lake, Los Angeles, California
U.S. State: Ohio
City: Akron, Ohio
Lola Albright was an American actress and singer, well known for her role as Edie Hart, the seductive nightclub singer and girlfriend of the lead character in the TV series ‘Peter Gunn’. Albright worked in several other television shows and feature films throughout her career spanning more than 20 years. Before achieving fame, she took up many odd jobs such as a receptionist, switchboard operator and stenographer at a radio station, modeling for a photographer, etc. Her role in ‘Peter Gunn’ earned her a celebrity status and she was regarded by many as one of the sultriest beauties in Hollywood with a husky and seductive voice to match with her onscreen persona. She was a trained pianist and sang most of her songs on ‘Peter Gunn’. She was nominated for an Emmy Award in the ‘Best Supporting Actress’ category for her role in ‘Peter Gunn’ and also won a ‘Best Actress’ award at the 16th Berlin International Film Festival for her role in the film ‘Lord Love a Duck’. Following several failed marriages, Albright retired from the public eye and lived a quiet life until the time of her death.
- Lola Jean Albright was born on July 20, 1924 in Akron, Ohio. Her father, John Paul Albright and mother, Marion Albright, were gospel singers.
- After studying at King Grammar School for a few years, she graduated from West High School in Akron in 1942.
- From age 15-18, Albright worked as a receptionist at a local radio station after school. Thereafter, she moved to Cleveland and took up a stenographer’s job at another radio station.
- Albright soon moved to Chicago and started working as a photographer's model where she was spotted by a talent scout. At 23, she left to pursue a career in Hollywood.
- Lola Albright’s first film was the 1947 comedy ‘The Unfinished Dance’ where she had a minor singing role.
- In 1948, she played small parts in two movies, ‘The Pirate’ and ‘Easter Parade’, starring the famous actress Judy Garland.
- She first gained recognition for her role in the 1949 movie ‘Champion’ starring Kirk Douglas.
- Albright continued to play smaller roles in Western films for the next few years, including one with future husband Jack Carson.
- She was also a model and muse for popular pinup painter, Gil Elvgren in the early 1950s.
- Albright was one of the few film actors who embraced television roles early on in her career, having first acted in the TV series ‘Lux Video Theatre’ in 1951 and subsequently in ‘The Bob Cummings Show’, ‘Alfred Hitchcock Presents’, etc. throughout the 1950s.
- Along with acting, Albright explored another career option as a vocalist, recording and releasing her first album ‘Lola Wants You’ in 1957.
- Albright’s breakout role came in 1958 when she was signed on to play the part of sophisticated nightclub singer, Edie Hart, in the TV show, ‘Peter Gunn’. She was also the love interest of the show’s lead character, Peter Gunn.
- In 1959, while simultaneously working on ‘Peter Gunn’, Albright released her second album ‘Dreamsville’ in collaboration with the show’s theme song composer, Henry Mancini.
- In 1961, she starred as a temptress in an independent movie ‘A Cold Wind in August’ which won her much critical acclaim.
- From 1962 to 1966, she continued to act in films like ‘Kid Galahad’ with Elvis Presley, ‘Joy House’, ‘Lord Love a Duck’, etc. Simultaneously, she played guest characters on many TV shows like ‘My Three Sons’, ‘The Dick Van Dyke Show’, ‘The Beverly Hillbillies’, ‘Bonanza’, etc.
- In 1966, Albright bagged a character-role in the prime-time TV show ‘Peyton Place’ as a replacement for actress Dorothy Malone.
- After her last feature film ‘The Impossible Years’ in 1968, Albright ended her film career.
- Albright continued to play small roles in television shows until her retirement from active Hollywood life in 1984.
- Lola Albright’s most memorable role was as Edie Hart on the TV show ‘Peter Gunn’ from 1958 to 1961. She sang in 38 of the 114 episodes of the show that she appeared in.
- Albright’s role as a burlesque stripper who gets involved in a torrid romance with a teenager in the movie ‘A Cold Wind in August’ in 1961 garnered much critical acclaim for her.
- Her role as a suicidal mother in the 1966 movie ‘Lord Love a Duck’ was also very widely recognized.
- Lola Albright’s first marriage was to Cleveland radio announcer, Warren Dean, from 1944 to 1949.
- From 1951 to 1958, she was married to actor Jack Carson, her co-star on ‘Peter Gunn’.
- Her third and final husband was Bill Chadney, who was also a part of ‘Peter Gunn’. They were married from 1961 to 1975.
- Albright had no children of her own, but had seven stepchildren in all.
- After retirement, Albright lived a life away from the limelight in Toluca Lake, California.
- Following a spinal injury three years earlier, Lola Albright passed away on March 23, 2017 at the age of 92.
- Lola Albright started publicly singing quite early in life and learned to play the piano for almost 20 years.
- She was said to be one of the few actresses of her time whose real hair was naturally blonde in colour.
- When she was cast as Edie Hart for ‘Peter Gunn’, the creator of the show had no idea that she could sing.
- At her high school in Akron, Albright was voted the ‘Best Looking Girl’ in 1942.
- After the screening of her first major movie ‘Champion’ in 1949, Albright was very upset and cried thinking that she did not look good and her acting was very bad.
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