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 under the GI Bill of Rights. Some of his acting ability was developed while at TCU with participation in the on-campus theater.
Alden appeared in dozens of television series in the 1950s and 1960s. He was cast in three episodes in 1958 and 1959 of ABC’s The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin. He was cast in six guest-starring roles between 1959 and 1962, mostly as Seaman Pulaski, on Jackie Cooper’s CBS sitcom/drama, Hennesey. In 1959 and 1960, he was cast as Corproal Lucius Grundy in fifteen episodes of the series Not for Hire. From 1959 to 1961, he appeared as different characters in nine episodes of the NBC crime drama, The Lawless Years. In 1961, he portrayed Shad Welty in the episode “Ordeal at Dead Tree” of the ABC/Warner Brothers western series, Bronco, starring Ty Hardin. Also in 1961, he appeared in the episode “The Four” with Jack Elam in the western series, Lawman, starring John Russell. He guest starred as well on the CBS sitcom, Pete and Gladys. Alden played the police captain in the 1988 NBC TV movie Man Against the Mob starring George Peppard.
Alden portrayed Johnny Ringo in the 1955 western series, The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, with Hugh O’Brian in the title role. Alden played Coach Leroy Fedder in the 1970s television series, Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman. He also voiced the ringmaster, Hank, on the animated television series Devlin. He played the lead in the film Andy.
Other roles that he has portrayed include the AC Delco repairman, Lou the Mechanic for seven years in a series of advertisements, 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 provided the voice of Sir Kay in the 1963 Disney film The Sword in the Stone, and Kranix in the 1986 film The Transformers: The Movie. 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 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 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 appeared in Kansas City Bomber (1970), which starred Raquel Welch. In 1966 he also played The Joker’s “Henchman #1” in episodes 25 and 26, titled ‘The Joker trumps an ace’ and ‘Batman Sets the Pace’, of the Batman TV series.
Alden died at the age of 87 on July 27, 2012 from natural causes in Los Angeles. He is survived by his two children from his first marriage, one grandson, and his partner of over 25 years, Linda Gilbert Thieben, a fundraising consultant for nonprofit organizations.
- September, 13, 1924
- Fort Worth, Texas
- July, 27, 2012
- Los Angeles, California
- Hollywood Forever Cemetery
- Hollywood, California