Norman Alden, a character actor who appeared in both daytime and primetime soap operas, died July 27 of natural causes at an assisted living facility in Los Angeles, his family reported. He was 87.
In the final year of CAPITOL, Alden played King Hussein. He also played Coach Leroy Fedders in MARY HARTMAN, MARY HARTMAN. His character drowned face-first in a bowl of Mary's (Louise Lasser's) chicken soup.
His primetime guest appearances included DALLAS (Senator Orloff), DYNASTY, FLAMINGO ROAD and FALCON CREST (Det. Bitterman).
Alden appeared in 2,5000 hundred television episodes, commercials and films, frequently playing tough guys and authority figures. Perhaps his most recognizable role was as Lou the mechanic in a series of AC Delco commercials.
The native of Fort Worth, Texas, got his start on THE BOB CUMMINGS SHOW in 1957 and would appear in scores of TV series like HONEY WEST, ELECTRA WOMAN AND DYNA GIRL (with Deidre Hall), MY THREE SONS, THE BIG VALLEY, CHARLIE'S ANGELS, JAG and BATMAN, where he played one of the Joker's henchmen.
On film, Alden voiced Sir Kay in Disney's The Sword in the Stone (1963), was roller derby skater "Horrible" Hank Hopkins in Raquel Welch's Kansas City Bomber (1972) and had roles in Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970), I Never Promised You a Rose Garden (1977), Semi-Tough (1977), Back to the Future (1985), They Live (1988), Ed Wood (1994), Patch Adams (1998) and K-Pax (2001).
In 1988 he appeared in the TV movie Lady Mobster with Susan Lucci, Michael Nader and Roscoe Born.
Following a tour of duty in Europe during World War II, Alden attended Texas Christian University and worked at KXOL Radio as a disc jockey. He left Fort Worth in his early twenties to go to New York, won Arthur Godfrey Talent Scouts and moved to Los Angeles.
Survivors include his children Brent and Ashley, his grandson Zooey and his longtime life partner, Linda Thieben.
A celebration of his life will be held in Los Angeles in August and in Fort Worth in September. The family asks that in a donation in Alden's name be made to TCU's drama department; to the department of cardiology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles; or to the Frostig Center in Pasadena.