Thesp Albert Paulsen died April 25 of natural causes in Los Angeles. He was 78.
Paulsen won an Emmy for supporting actor opposite Jason Robards in “One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich,” which aired on NBC in 1963 under the “Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theater” umbrella.
A longtime member of the New York Actors Studio under Lee Strasberg, Paulsen appeared in a 1964 Broadway production of “The Three Sisters.” Other Broadway credits include “Night Circus” and “The Only Game in Town.” He also starred at the American Place Theater in “Papp” and “Fingernails as Blue as Flowers.”
Born in Guayaquil, Ecuador, Albert immigrated to the U.S. under the GI bill at 17. As a WWII veteran, he received a scholarship to study acting at the Neighborhood Playhouse under Sanford Meisner and began his career as a character actor.
John Frankenheimer cast him in “The Manchurian Candidate” opposite Frank Sinatra and also directed him in “All Fall Down.” He later starred in “The Next Man” opposite Sean Connery, “The Laughing Policeman” opposite Walter Matthau and “Gunn” directed by Blake Edwards.
Robert Altman directed Paulsen in one of his earliest guest-starring roles on the series “Combat.” His TV work included “Studio One” and “Playhouse 90” and numerous guest roles in shows such as “Mission: Impossible,” “Hawaii Five-0,” “Kojak,” “I Spy,” “Columbo,” “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” and “The Odd Couple.”
Known mostly for his charismatic gangsters and sinister villains, he parlayed his knowledge of German and his WWII experience into playing numerous Gestapo roles, including opposite Leslie Caron in telepic “Carola.” His love for classical music was put to use as a character who played the violin in Sigourney Weaver starrer “Eyewitness.”
An longtime admirer of Vladimir Nabokov, Paulsen wrote a one-man show and played the author at L.A.’s Odyssey Theater and on tour.
He is survived by a brother and sister-in-law, three nieces and two nephews.
A private memorial will be held at the Actors Studio in Los Angeles on Friday, April 30.