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Lou Albano was a professional wrestler-turned-wrestling personality in the hugely popular World Wrestling Federation of the 1980s.
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In 1989, Albano shaved his beard on Live with Regis and Kathie Lee to promote his role in the upcoming children's variety program The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! Albano starred as Mario opposite Danny Wells' Luigi in the show's live-action segments, in which the video game brothers welcomed celebrity visitors to their Brooklyn apartment. He also voiced the character of Mario in the animated segments. Albano grew his own handlebar mustache for the series,
which aired only three months of original shows but lived on in syndication for years.
Albano's last foray into the wrestling world came in 1994, when he returned briefly to manage the Headshrinkers tag team. Captain Lou Albano was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 1996. In his later years, he appeared frequently on cable-access television to promote local businesses around his home in Westchester County, New York. He also stayed active in WWE reunions and promotional events.
On October 14, 2009, Albano suffered a heart attack and died in his sleep at home. He was survived by his wife Geri, their four children, and 14 grandchildren. In a statement released after his death, WWE called him "one of the company's most popular and charismatic legends."
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