Lou Albano

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Lou Albano
Lou Albano
Full name Louis Vincent Albano
Born July 29, 1933
Died October 14, 2009 (aged 76)
Super Mario–related role(s) Mario, Marianne, Mario Joe, Mama Mario, and himself (The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!)

Louis Vincent Albano (July 29, 1933 – October 14, 2009), often referred by his ring name, "Captain" Lou Albano, was an Italian-American professional wrestler, manager and actor who portrayed Mario in both the live action and cartoon segments of the The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! He worked alongside Danny Wells, who portrayed Luigi. In addition to playing Mario, he also played various guest characters such as Marianne, Mario Joe, Mama Mario, and himself. In 2009, he died of a heart attack at the age of 76.


Lou Albano was born in Rome, Italy, in 1933. His family emigrated to the United States shortly after his birth. Albano was a high school athlete and won a football scholarship to the University of Tennessee. After briefly serving in the US Army, he became a nightclub bouncer. During this time, he was introduced to professional wrestling and started working in a tag team called the Sicilians.[1] He took on an arrogant, mafia-esque persona, which drew anger from crowds. After receiving threats from actual mafia members, the group broke up.[2] Albano soon decided to retire from wrestling and work as a manager. Albano notably appeared as the father figure in Cyndi Lauper's music video, "Girls Just Want to Have Fun".

The role of Mario was arguably his best-known role outside of wrestling. Albano was a guest on a 1989 episode of Regis and Kathie Lee, during which he announced his new role. Albano also hired a barber to come on set and shave off his trademark goatee to give him a more Mario-like appearance.

Albano passed away in 2009, twenty years after his Mario debut, having been under a long period of hospice care.



The Super Mario Bros. Super Show![edit]

Lou Albano
Albano, appearing as himself on The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!.

Albano appears as himself in the live-action segment "Captain Lou Is Missing". In the segment, Cyndi Lauper announces that Albano has gone missing when she had planned to go on a picnic lunch with him, and instead found rubber bands for his beard and a note that read "Dear Cyndi, I'm sorry that I'm not here but I've gone for good".

Cyndi forms a search party with Mario and Luigi at Mario Brothers Plumbing along with several volunteers and search teams stationed around the world, which ultimately fails not long afterward. When Mario later goes out to pick some pizza, Albano shows up and meets Luigi. When Cyndi asks him why he said he left, Albano sees his note and explains that part of it had been cut off; the note should've read "Dear Cyndi, I'm sorry that I'm not here, but I've gone for good fried chicken. Back in an hour.". Albano then explains that he had gotten tired of waiting for Cyndi to arrive at his house afterward, so he went out, saw fliers about his disappearance, and followed them all the way to Mario Brothers Plumbing.

Cyndi introduces Albano to Luigi, who is thrilled to meet him, although Luigi says he would be happier if Mario had been there to meet him as well. When Albano and Cyndi leave, Luigi figures that Mario is going to be very disappointed for not getting to meet him, as he claims Mario is Albano's biggest fan.

The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3[edit]

Although Albano never makes an appearance in the Super Mario franchise beyond The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!, he, along with several other famous people of Italian descent, do receive a mention from the Gondolier during The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 episode "The Venice Menace".


  • According to The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!'s producer John Grusd, Lou Albano had offered to legally change his name to "Mario" during the production of the show.[3]
  • Albano famously starred in several public service announcements, wearing his Mario costume from The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!; topics of these PSAs included drugs, reporting crimes, and guns/knives, among others.[4]


  1. ^ Michael Carlson (November 29, 2009). Lou Albano obituary. The Guardian. Retrieved October 13, 2023.
  2. ^ Vaughn Johnson (October 29, 2013). New book recounts some of the best behind-the-scene stories in wrestlng history[sic]. The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved October 13, 2023.
  3. ^ Matt Paprocki (June 5, 2020) Inside Nintendo’s weird attempts at making movies and TV shows. Polygon. Retrieved June 5, 2020.
  4. ^ Captain Lou Albano - WGBS Philly 57 "Just Say No" Drugs PSA YouTube. Retrieved December 3, 2008.