Louis Vincent Albano

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      • 76
      • 1933-07-29 in Rome - Lazio - Italy
      • 2009-10-14

      Louis Vincent "Captain Lou" Albano was an Italian-born American professional wrestler, manager and actor. He was active as a professional wrestler from 1953 until 1969, then he became a manager, until 1995. Throughout his 42-year career, Albano guided 15 different tag teams and four singles competitors to championship gold. Albano was part of the "Triumvirate of Terror," a threesome of nefarious WWF managers that also included The Grand Wizard of Wrestling and Freddie Blassie. The trio would be fixtures in the company for a decade, until the Grand Wizard's death in 1983. A unique showman, with an elongated beard, rubber band facial piercings, and loud outfits, Albano was the forefather of the 1980s Rock 'n' Wrestling Connection. Collaborating with Cyndi Lauper, Albano helped usher in wrestling's crossover success with a mainstream audience. Capitalizing on his success, he later ventured into Hollywood with various television, film, and music projects. He became well-known to a new generation of fans as the actor and voice of Mario in The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! In 1953, Albano married his high school sweetheart, Geraldine Tango. The marriage lasted 56 years, until his death. Albano has been noted by several others for his faithfulness to his wife, a rare characteristic in the on-the-road world of 1970s and 1980s professional wrestling. Albano released his autobiography, Often Imitated, Never Duplicated, on July 20, 2008 through his website. The book includes a foreword by Cyndi Lauper. The other Albano siblings are Vincent, George, Eleanor, and Carl, all of whom became teachers. Albano's brother, Carl, taught health for 32 years at Ridgewood High School in Ridgewood, New Jersey, and was head of the Ridgewood High health department from 1974 until 2001. Carl's students have noted that he used his brother Lou as an example of the difference between crazy and unique. George served as the Principal of Lincoln Elementary School in Mount Vernon, New York and often brought Lou in to delight the school's students during their lunch hour. Vincent was an art teacher and lived part-time in a lake house in Connecticut. Eleanor was a music teacher for preschool students in Connecticut and impacts the lives of countless students through music. Albano's son, Carl Albano, has been a member of the Putnam County Legislature since 2011. During the 1990s, Albano shed 150 pounds (70 kg) following a health scare. In May 2005, Albano suffered a heart attack, but later recovered. Albano was sent home from the hospital and again began watching his health. The song "Captain Lou" by Kimya Dawson is dedicated to him. In 1983 the band NRBQ wrote a song about Albano called "Captain Lou." Albano was featured as a singer on that song as well on another called "Boardin' House Pie." Both of these songs appear on NRBQ's Tap Dancin' Bats compilation, their Lou and Q spoken-word comedy record, as well as their out-of-print, hard-to-find single which Albano used to sell at his wrestling matches. Albano died on October 14, 2009 of a heart attack while residing in hospice care.He was 76 years old.

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