Frank Jenks

Active - 1936 - 1957  |   Born - Jan 1, 1902   |   Died - May 13, 1962   |   Genres - Comedy, Drama, Musical, Crime, Romance

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Biography by Hal Erickson

From 1922 through 1934, Iowa-born performer Frank Jenks was a song and dance man in vaudeville. He began picking up day work in Hollywood films in 1933, and by 1937 had worked his way up to a contract with Universal Pictures. Jenks was seen in sizeable character roles in films ranging from the sumptuous Deanna Durbin vehicle 100 Men and a Girl to several entries in the Crime Club B-series. He portrayed sardonic sleuth Bill Crane (a creation of mystery writer Jonathan Latimer) in the Crime Club entries The Westland Case (1937) and Lady in the Morgue (1938). Jenks' familiar Hibernian grin and salty delivery of dialogue graced many a feature of the '40s and '50s; most of the roles were supporting, though Jenks was allowed full leads in an informal series of PRC detective films of the mid '40s. Frank Jenks' most conspicuous assignment of the '50s was as Uthas P. Garvey, the Runyonesque assistant of lovable con artist Alan Mowbray on the TV series Colonel Humphrey Flack, which ran live in 1953-54 and was resurrected for 39 filmed episodes in 1958.

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