Lola Albright, the Smokey-Voiced Star of Peter Gunn and Kirk Douglas' Champion, Dies at 92
Sultry singer and actress Lola Albright, who starred in TV’s Peter Gunn and in Kirk Douglas’s classic film Champion, has died at 92.
Albright died Thursday in Toluca Lake, California, her friend, Eric Anderson, confirmed to Ohio’s Akron Beacon Journal.
“She went very peacefully,” friend Eric Anderson said. “She died at 7:20 a.m. of natural causes. We loved her so much.”
Albright’s breakout role came as Douglas’s spurned lover in the boxing classic Champion, which earned Douglas an Oscar nomination.
She’s perhaps best remembered for playing the smokey-voiced nightclub singer Edie Hart opposite Craig Stevens in the NBC television show Peter Gunn, which aired from 1958 to 1961. She was nominated for an Emmy in 1959 for the role.
She starred opposite Elvis Presley in 1961’s Kid Galahad and appeared again with Kirk Douglas in 1967’s The Way West alongside Robert Meechum.
From Coinage: See Where 6 Stars Were Before They Were Famous
Albright also recorded two albums, Lola Wants You in 1957 and Dreamsville in 1959. She performed as a vocalist on both records, and was accompanied by Henry Mancini’s orchestra. The blonde-haired, blue-eyed beauty continued working through the 1980s, sometimes making cameos on TV shows like Starsky & Hutch, Kojak, Columbo and The Incredible Hulk.
Albright married for the first time in 1944, but she divorced in 1949 as her career began to take off. She later married actor Jack Carson from 1952 to 1958, and in 1961, she married pianist Bill Chadney. They divorced in 1971. She is survived by her step-daughter, Susan Chadney.