Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Former St. Louisan Is 'Forever Young' on TV Land

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Former St. Louisan Is 'Forever Young' on TV Land

Article excerpt

St. Louisans who watched the premiere of TV Land's "Forever Young" this week may have seen a familiar face.

Arthur Albert, one of five "seniors" living in a house with five "juniors" in the new, six-episode reality series from Ashton Kutcher, was a fixture on the racquetball courts at the JCCA in Creve Coeur in the 1970s and '80s and a Missouri masters champion 1979-80.

And once you meet "Double A," you're not likely to forget him.

Albert's enthusiasm for life, and for learning new things, made him a natural for "Forever Young," which set out to determine what young people could learn from their elders, and vice versa.

After a friend heard about the casting call, Albert took video of himself dancing to Earth, Wind and Fire and sent it in to casting producers for Kutcher's company, Katalyst.

"They called right away and said they were considering me," Albert said last week from his home in New York. "More than 9,000 people applied, but I got picked."

The participants didn't know the real premise until they showed up at the luxurious California home they'd be sharing. The "seniors," all over 70, thought they were on a show about maintaining a youthful lifestyle. The "juniors," under 30, thought they were on a show about spring break.

Initially, some were disappointed. "Oh, no," one of the under- 30s moaned. "We're going to be living with old people." Another was horrified to see "five really old, wrinkly people in the back yard."

Viewers might have expected conflict to ensue; producers may have hoped it would.

"Was there conflict? Not from me," said Albert, who was 78 when the show filmed. "I thought it was great. This was just a wonderful experience."

The young people taught the seniors beer pong and Albert excelled. He showed off his impressive racquetball skills. And he made a new, dear friend in fellow New Yorker Mike Markiewicz, 24, about whom he says "we were just sympatico. …

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