Larger-than-life wrestling legend Captain Lou Albano died on Wednesday morning (October 14) at the age of 76, according to the WWE and Wrestler’s Rescue (an organization that helps raise money for retired wrestlers’ health care).
Wrestler’s Rescue reported that Albano had been in hospice care earlier this week, but no cause of death has been revealed.
Known for his wild goatee and his half-open Hawaiian shirts, Albano became a fixture in the wrestling world fixture for more than a half-century. Albano is best known to non-wrestling fans as the father in Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” video. That helped kick off the Rock ‘n Wrestling connection that launched the then-WWF to national prominence in the 1980s.
He was inducted into the World Wrestling Entertainment Hall of Fame in 1996, paying tribute to Albano’s management of 15 WWE tag team champions and WWE title holder Ivan Koloff. He was dubbed “The Guiding Light” for his “management” work.
“One of the company’s most popular and charismatic legends,” the WWE said in a statement. “He will be greatly missed.”
Albano parlayed his MTV exposure into Hollywood fame, appearing on TV shows ranging from “Miami Vice,” “227” and “Hey Dude” to the movies “Wiseguys” and “Body Slam,” as well as starring in the “Super Mario Bros. Super Show” as Mario. He also briefly managed the long-running jam-rock precursor band NRBQ, who penned a song in his honor, “Captain Lou.”
He will be missed.
For more information on Wrestler’s Rescue, please visit www.wrestlersrescue.org.