Captain Lou Albano, tag team wrestling manager extraordinaire in the 1970s and 1980s, died today at the age of 76.
Albano was a manager wrestling fans loved to hate. He managed such teams as The Wild Samoans, the Moondogs as well as Mr. Fuji & Mr. Saito to World Wrestling Federation tag team gold. Singles wrestlers such as Greg "The Hammer" Valentine, The Magnificent Muraco and Jimmy Snuka were also part of Albano's stable of heels at various times.
Albano is best known for helping to broaden wrestling's appeal to mainstream audiences in the mid-1980s. He did so by appearing in several of Cyndi Lauper's videos most notably "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun." Lauper would later participate in an angle with Albano which involved The Fabulous Moolah losing the WWF Womens' Title to Wendi Richter after holding it for 28 years. Consequently, Albano became a fan favorite. This coincided with the rise of Hulk Hogan and Hulkamania as well as consumating the marriage between rock and wrestling.
Lauper, however, wasn't Albano's only foray into music. For a time, Albano also managed the band NRBQ. Albano ended his association with the WWF in 1986 to concentrate on movies and television appearances (although he would briefly return in 1994.)
Albano would eventually become a vegetarian and shed more than 150 pounds during the 1990s. However, his health had been in decline for several years especially after suffering a heart attack in 2005.
Here's Albano doing what he did best.