Frank Wilcox Poster


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Overview (4)

Born in DeSoto, Missouri, USA
Died in Granada Hills, California, USA
Birth NameFrank Reppy Wilcox
Height 6' 3" (1.91 m)

Mini Bio (2)

American character actor in scores of films after substantial stage experience. He was born in DeSoto, Missouri, but raised in Atchison, Kansas. The son of a railroad worker and law clerk (some publicity material states the father was a physician, but family and census records show otherwise), he wavered between various careers including oil exploration, but found his way after an introduction to the stage with the Atchison Civic Theatre and Kansas City Civic Theatre. He briefly attended the University of Kansas (where he was a fraternity brother of future newsman John Cameron Swayze). He moved from Kansas to California in 1930, where he lived with his grandparents and worked in the lemon groves near Pomona prior to opening a tire-repair shop in that city. He also helped found a theatre company in Pomona. He joined the Pasadena Community Playhouse, where he was spotted by a Warner Bros. talent scout looking for someone with a resemblance to Henry Clay, for the Warners short film The Monroe Doctrine (1939). He signed with Warners as a contract player and was thereafter virtually never without work. He played in an enormous number of films over the next three decades, mostly in small supporting roles. He was equally adept at playing businessmen, attorneys, or historical figures, and was a familiar face on screen and on television for his entire career, though most people would have been unable to identify him by name. Perhaps his greatest fame came in the TV role of oil company president John Brewster on The Beverly Hillbillies (1962). During the last years of his life, he was co-owner of a popular restaurant/bar in Encino, California, called The Oak Room. Wilcox died in 1974.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Following a year at the University of Kansas, Wilcox returned to Atchison where he worked for Lockwood-Hazel Printing Co. He attended St. Benedict's College in Atchison for a year and a half and graduated in the class of 1933. Wilcox received the Cross of the Order of St. Benedict, given for the first time ever in 1969, from St. Benedict's College in appreciation of his outstanding service to the college. He was a member of St. Benedict's College Advisory Board of Trustees from 1965-1971. Wilcox earned five battle stars during WWII. He was an named an Honorary Mayor of Granada Hills, Calif. for more than ten years, and also served as an Honorary Fire Chief of the Los Angeles fire department. Samuel William Yorty, Mayor of the City of Los Angeles, declared January 11, 1964 Frank Wilcox Day.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Jennifer Carter

Spouse (1)

Joy Langston (27 April 1953 - 3 March 1974) (his death) (3 children)

Trivia (5)

In the final release print of 1951's Show Boat (1951), Wilcox, as a poker player, had no lines -- unusual for a familiar supporting actor who usually had a speaking part. But his role may have been a little more substantial in the rough cut, because the scenes of Gaylord Ravenal and Magnolia's "winning streak" in Chicago were trimmed some after it was decided that they slowed down the film.
Studied at the Pasadena Community Playhouse alongside George Reeves, who was among his closest friends. He was best man at Reeves's wedding and they appeared in eleven films together.
Honorary mayor of Granada Hills, California during the 1960s.
Served on the Screen Actors Guild Board of Directors.
He appeared in three Best Picture Academy Award winners: Gentleman's Agreement (1947), All the King's Men (1949) and The Greatest Show on Earth (1952).

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