Eddie Albert has died and while reading article about him in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, I came across some interesting factoids about his life. Who knew he was such an environmentalist and not just a guy who was part of one of those great tv songs you can't out of your head (Green Acres for wee ones who ready this blog and don't know the wacky comedies that can ensue when a rural farmer marries a hot Hungarian woman who prefers the city and luxury yet brings her to a podunk town for a simple life on the farm). Anyway, here's snippit of the article:
In the late 1960s, Albert's attention turned to ecology. He did extensive reading on the subject as well as talking to experts in the field.
In 1969, he accompanied a molecular biologist from the University of California, Berkeley, to Anacapa Island off the California coast to observe the nesting of pelicans. What they found were thousands of collapsed pelican eggs.
"The run-off of DDT had been consumed by the fish, the fish had been eaten by the pelicans, whose metabolism had in turn been disturbed so that the lady pelican could no longer manufacture a sturdy shell," Albert told TV Guide in 1970. After learning more about the effects of the pesticide, he said, "I stopped being a conservationist.... I became terrified. The more I studied, the more terrified I got."
Sharing his ecological concerns on the "Tonight" and "Today" shows, he became, in the words of a TV Guide reporter, "a kind of ecological Paul Revere." The TV appearances led to speaking engagement requests from high schools, universities, and industrial and religious groups.
Albert formed a new company to produce films to aid in "international campaigns against environmental pollution."
Home for the actor-activist was an unpretentious Spanish-style house on an acre of land in Pacific Palisades, where Albert turned the front yard into a cornfield. He also installed a giant greenhouse in the back yard, where he grew organic vegetables.
In 1963, he served as special world envoy for Meals for Millions, a philanthropic project providing nutritious, low-cost meals to the underprivileged around the world. He helped launch the first Earth Day on April 22, which was his birthday, in 1970, and served as a special consultant at the World Hunger Conference in Rome in 1974.