Eddie Albert: 1906-2005
updated 06/13/2005 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 06/13/2005 AT 01:00 AM EDT
Raised in Minneapolis, Albert got his break in Hollywood in 1938 with the movie Brother Rat, then joined the Navy in World War II, earning a Bronze Star for rescuing wounded Marines in the 1943 battle of Tarawa. After the war he married the Mexican-born actress Margo, with whom he had Edward and a daughter, Maria, and resumed his acting career. Yet, says his son, "acting was really only a tenth of his life." An outspoken environmentalist, Albert lobbied in the '70s to ban DDT. He used his Green Acres fame to champion real-life farmers hit by economic hard times. "Even up till the end his intellect was intact," says Edward. "After he got Alzheimer's he took up singing. He said he was getting ready for his next life."