Alf and Willie played by Max Wright
via ALF Facebook

Native Detroiter and actor Max Wright died June 26 at age 75 after a long battle with lymphoma.

Detroit native and acclaimed actor Max Wright died June 26, 2019 at age 75. Wright had been battling lymphoma for years prior to his death.  

Wright is best known for his role in the NBC sitcom ALF, in which he played the father, Willie Tanner. Wright also had roles on the shows CheersTaxiMurphy BrownBuffalo Bill, The Drew Carey Show and Friends. In addition to television shows, Wright starred in moviesincluding All That JazzSnow Falling on CedarsSoul Man and Reds and the television movie Playing for Time 

Wright had an accomplished career in theater, even earning a Tony nomination for his work in Chekhov’s Inavov. He starred in many plays including one at the Jewish Ensemble Theatre (JET) in West Bloomfield under JET founder Evelyn Orbach. Chris Bremer, who also worked with Wright at JET, has fond memories of Wright’s appearance on JET’s stage. 

“Max was kind enough to grace our stage about 11 years ago in Old Wicked Songs,” Bremer said. “When he was performing, he was stellar.” 

Bremer went on to discuss Wright’s varied talents, saying he and co-star Daniel Kahn played the piano live during the show. “It was a fabulous show,” Bremer said. “We were very lucky to have Max here.” 

Wright is survived by his two children and will live on in the hearts of his fans. 

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