Wrestling Dynamo Captain Lou Dead at 76

Manager's celebrity helped wrestling crossover to the mainstream
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 14, 2009 5:00 PM CDT
In this undated publicity image released by the WWE, wrestler Captain Lou Albano is shown.   (c) 2009 World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved)

(Newser) – “Captain” Lou Albano, a professional wrestler who also enjoyed success as a mainstream entertainer, died today at 76. Starting in the late '50s as one-half of tag team “the Sicilians,” Albano’s wrestling career spanned four decades. With his signature look—Hawaiian shirt, rubber-band goatee—and a landmark decision to mix music and wrestling, Albano’s celebrity helped push the WWE itself into the mainstream.

The Captain’s most fruitful collaboration was with singer Cindi Lauper—he appeared in the videos for iconic ‘80s hits like “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” and “Time After Time.” While continuing his wrestling career, mostly as a manager of Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant, Jimmy Snuka, and countless other wrestlers and tag teams, Albano was also able to break into mainstream TV. He appeared on Miami Vice, 227 and starred in the Super Mario Bros. Super Show as Mario, MTV reports. No cause of death has been revealed.
(Read more professional wrestling stories.)