Norman Alden (born September 13, 1924, died July 27, 2012) was an American character actor who has performed in television programs and motion pictures since first appearing on The 20th Century Fox Hour in 1957. He provided the voice of Kay in The Sword in the Stone film in 1963 and received Oscar buzz for his role in I Never Promised You a Rose Garden. He was still active as an actor into his 80s, appearing as Judge Olividat in the TV movie Detective in 2005 and doing commercials for Capital One credit card commercial the following year.
Alden was born in Fort Worth, Texas. He served in the military during World War II and returned to Fort Worth to attend Texas Christian University (TCU) on the Montgomery GI Bill. Some of his acting ability was developed while at TCU with participation in the on-campus theater. He portrayed Coach Leroy Fedder in the 1970s television series Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, Johnny Ringo in the 1955 western and The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp. He also voiced the ringmaster, Hank, on the animated television series, Devlin.
Other roles that he has portrayed include the AC Delco repairman, Lou the Mechanic for seven years in a series of ads, the Professor Frank Heflin in Electra Woman and Dyna Girl, both Aquaman and Green Arrow in the animated TV franchise Super Friends, and Major Truman Landon in Tora! Tora! Tora!. He was in one episode of Dallas as Senator William Orloff the episode #3 Spy In The House Season 1 aka Mini Series. In Season 1 of The Dukes of Hazzard he played the part of Sheriff Lacey of Springville in the episode "Deputy Dukes"; he returned to the role in the second season episode "The Ghost of General Lee". He also appeared as Lou Caruthers, the owner of the coffee shop in Back to the Future and the color-blind cameraman Bill in Ed Wood. He retired from acting in 2006.
Alden died of natural causes at age 87 on July 27, 2012, in Los Angeles. He is buried in Beth Olam Mausoleum, South Wall, Elevation 3, Crypt G-130, Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Hollywood.[Find-a-Grave Memorial No. 94483176]
- "Oscar Was Great Help". Gadsden Times. 17 February 1978. Retrieved 23 March 2010.