Captain Lou Albano: 10 Things You Might Not Have Known

Captain Lou Albano: 10 Things You Might Not Have Known

Even if you weren’t a wrasslin’ fan in the ’80s (I used to watch it every Saturday with my grandpa) you knew him from the Cyndi Lauper “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” video. Here are 10 quick facts about wrestling manager Captain Lou Albano, who died yesterday in New York at age 76:

1. Louis Vincent Albano was born in Italy and raised in New York. He graduated from the same high school as Alan Alda and Jon Voight.

2. The wrestling manager began his career as a wrestler. He and a tag team partner named Tony Altimore competed as The Sicilians, and adopted stereotypical Mafia personas.

3. Among the more than four dozen pro wrestlers Albano managed: Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka, The Wild Samoans, Greg “The Hammer” Valentine, The Fabulous Moolah, Nikolai Volkoff and The Magnificent Muraco (the original “The Rock”).

4. Albano was at the forefront of the “Rock ‘n’ Wrestling Connection” in the ’80s, a promo crossover between pop stars and wrestlers. Among his showbiz gigs: an appearance on the sitcom 227, The Super Mario Bros. Super Show, a guest gig on Miami Vice and a memorable appearance as a thug in the Brian De Palma flick Wise Guys.

5. How did Albano end up playing Cyndi Lauper‘s dad in the “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” clip? The two met on a plane ride to Puerto Rico and she later asked him to be in the video. Lauper gives Albano much of the credit for the song and video’s success, telling the Associated Press that Albano helped take her up the music charts, “from 10, to 5, to 4 to 1, to minus 5 and back up to 1 again.”

6. In the ’90s, Albano became a vegetarian and dropped more than 150 pounds off his famously hefty frame.

7. Albano published his autobiography, Often Imitated, Never Duplicated: Captain Lou Albano in 2008, with a foreward penned by Lauper.

8. The band NRBQ not only recorded an album with Albano, but performed a tribute song called “Captain Lou.” The catchy tune (with Albano background vocals) is available on iTunes.

9. Albano was a supporter of Wrestlers Rescue, an organization that raises money to help pay for the health care needs of retired professional wrestlers.

10. Captain Lou Albano was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 1996.

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