Max Wright, star of ALF, dies at 75

Ben Arnold
Max Wright and ALF (Credit: NBC)

Max Wright, the star of US sitcom ALF, has died at the age of 75.

He died at his home in Hermosa Beach, California, his family confirmed to TMZ, after many years battling cancer.

He had been diagnosed with lymphoma in the 90s, and had remained in remission for some time, according to reports.

Wright was best known for his role as Willie Tanner, the patriarch of the Tanner family who take in the 'Alien Life Form' ALF when he crash lands on Earth.

He starred in all 99 episodes for NBC, from 1986 to 1990, but admitted in 2000 that the final years of the show were punishing.

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“It was hard work and very grim. By the end of the series’ four-year hitch, I was hugely eager to have it over with,” he told People.

But he also appeared on a host of other US TV shows in a career spanning three decades, booking roles on Quantum Leap, Cheers, Taxi, Hart To Hart, The Norm Show and Murder, She Wrote.

Wright also played the manager of the Central Perk coffee shop in Friends in early episodes of the hit show.

His movie career saw parts in Reds with Warren Beatty, Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson, Soul Man with Rob Lowe, and Grumpier Old Men with Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau.

He is survived by his two children, Ben and Daisy. His wife, Linda Ybarrondo, died from breast cancer in 2017.