Veteran character player, long in vaudeville and burlesque, who moved to TV, Broadway and features in middle age with considerable success. Most typically in slightly crotchety roles, the slender, long-faced Albertson played doctors, senior military figures, and pipe-smoking, philosophical stage manager types invariably called "Pop" in films including "The Harder They Fall" (1956), "Teacher's Pet" (1958), "Days of Wine and Roses" (1962) and "How to Murder Your Wife" (1965). One of his most memorable feature performances came in the waterlogged disaster flick, "The Poseidon Adventure" (1972), with he and Shelley Winters playing an aging couple trying to swim their way to safety. Playing an interesting variety of often unsympathetic types on TV, Albertson kept very busy from the late 1950s on as seasoned cops, snoopy sniffs and harried authority figures on such blandly genial fare as "The Thin Man" (1957-59), "Room for One More" (1962-63), "Hey Landlord" (1966-67) and "Doctor Simon Locke" (1971).
A solid if seemingly unexceptional player for decades, Albertson finally achieved widespread popularity and the critical acclaim he deserved late in life. He returned to stage work occasionally and enjoyed a Tony-winning Broadway success as the harsh, emotionally distant father in the intense family drama, "The Subject Was Roses" (1965). Recreating the role onscreen opposite Martin Sheen and Patricia Neal several years later, Albertson won an Oscar as Best Supporting Actor of 1968. Finally, in the 1970s Albertson won his first of two Emmys for a guest stint on the variety show "Cher", making him one of only three actors (along with Melvyn Douglas and Paul Scofield) to win the "triple crown" of awards (Oscar, Emmy and Tony). Albertson won a second Emmy for the role for which he is probably best remembered, cantankerous but good-natured garage owner Ed Brown, "the man", opposite Freddie Prinze in the NBC-TV sitcom, "Chico and the Man" (1974-78). Brother of equally omnipresent TV character actor Mabel Albertson.