Wrestling Icon Captain Lou Albano Dies at 76

Celebrity News Oct. 14, 2009 AT 2:05PM
Wrestling Icon Captain Lou Albano Dies at 76 Credit: Bobby Bank/WireImage.com

Wrestling icon Captain Lou Albano has died. He was 76.

Albano was in hospice care at the time of his death on Wednesday, the Miami Herald reports. The cause of death was not immediately disclosed.

Albano began his wrestling career in 1953 in Canada as a tag team wrestler after attending the University of Tennessee.

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In 1983, he signed with World Wrestling Entertainment, serving as a successful manager of such bizarre tag team champions, including the Masked Executioners.

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Albano - who is credited with creating the first Wrestlemania in 1985 - was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 1996.

The famed wrestler, known for his unbuttoned Hawaiian shirts and a trademark beard, earned fame outside the sports world by playing Cyndi Lauper's father in the popular 80s video for "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun."

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He also became a cartoon in 1989, when he was the voice of Mario "Jumpman" Mario for 17 episodes of The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!

"He was often imitated but never duplicated, and he certainly will never be forgotten either," the World Wrestling Entertainment said in a statement. "One of the company's most popular and charismatic legends, he will be greatly missed."

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