Life after ALF: TV dad Max Wright looks disheveled 25 years after his hit sitcom ended
He was one of TV’s favourite dads on the hit Eighties sitcom ALF.
But Max Wright’s life is now a long way from the bright lights of Hollywood more than two decades on.
The 71-year-old actor, who played Willie Tanner on the popular show, was recently pictured taking out the garbage from his modest apartment in Hermosa Beach, California, looking disheveled.
He has certainly led a troubled and difficult life since his career heyday, including cancer, legal problems, and even a sex and drugs scandal.
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Nearly unrecognizable: Max Wright, who starred on ’80s sitcom ALF, was photographed at his Hermosa Beach, California apartment by the National Enquirer in its June 29 issue
While was thinning back in the 1980s, Max is now nearly bald with only a grey wisps left.
What remains of his locks were pulled into a small ponytail.
He still wore the thin-rimmed glasses once favoured by ALF’s Tanner patriarch, but his loose clothing was a far cry from the buttoned-down neatness of Willie.
Broken down: After years of tough living, Max (above in 1986) looked very different from the friendly sitcom dad
Instead, Max had a black T-shirt under a plaid button-down and a beige vest.
Over-sized blue jeans and white trainers completed the casual look.
In the meantime, the actor was treated for a 1995 diagnosis of lymphoma and later was arrested on two occasions – in 2000 and 2003 – for drunk driving.
Dishevelled: Wearing loose, casual clothes and looking bald and wrinkled, Max did not resemble Willie Tanner
Odd comedy: Premiering in 1986, ALF was an unlikely sitcom about a sarcastic alien named Gordon Shumway who lived with a suburban family
Images from a drug-fuelled sex video – featuring Max with two other men – were published at this time as well, appearing in the April 2001 issue of the National Enquirer.
Even with all these issues, Max has remained married to his wife of 50 years, Linda – the couple has two adult children, Ben and Daisy.
While his TV and film career dwindled over the years – the actor’s last television role was in the 2005 TV movie, Back To Norm – Max returned mainly to the theatrical world.
A 1998 Tony nominee for Ivanov, Max more recently appeared in New York City’s Shakespeare in the Park productions of The Winter’s Tale and The Merchant Of Venice.
Hit: A ratings success in its early seasons, ALF was once the fifth-highest-rated show on television
ALF may have brought Max his greatest fame, but he has admitted to hating the idiosyncratic and gruelling sitcom about a sarcastic alien who moved in with a suburban family.
In a 2000 ‘Where Are They Now?’ interview with People. Max described the 1986-1990 production as ‘hard work and very grim.’
‘I was hugely eager to have it over with,’ he added, although he conceded that ALF ‘brought people a lot of joy.’
The bizarre comedy about a furry, cat-eating alien named Gordon Shumway was an unlikely hit for NBC, becoming the fifth-most-watched show on television during ALF’s second season.
Declining ratings and the reported dissatisfaction of most of the actors, however, led to a surprise cancellation after the comedy’s fourth season.
While Max’s acting career has been tough, he remained in that industry longer than the rest of his TV family.
‘Grim’ set: Cancelled at the end of four seasons, none of the actors seemed unhappy to leave, with Max saying in 2000 he was ‘hugely eager’ for it to be over
TV wife Ann Schedeen, now 65, last appeared in three episodes of Judging Amy in 2001 before retiring and working in design.
Andrea Elson, 46, played teen daughter Lynn Tanner on ALF, left acting after a string of small TV roles in 1997.
As for Benji Gregory, who played Brian, the now-37 year old had only four acting roles after ALF and later joined the Navy.
Under his real name of Ben Hertzberg, the former child star now works in international development.
Problems: After ALF, Max starred on another sitcom but later dealt with a cancer diagnosis, two DUIs, and accusations of drug use and a sex tape