Frank Albertson

Active - 1928 - 1964  |   Born - Feb 2, 1909 in Fergus Falls, MN  |   Died - Feb 29, 1964 in Santa Monica, Los Angeles, CA  |   Genres - Drama, Comedy, Crime, Musical, Romance

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Some actors can convey wide-eyed confusion, others are adept at business-like pomposity; Frank Albertson was a master of both acting styles, albeit at the extreme ends of his film career. Entering movies as a prop boy in 1922, Albertson played bit roles in several late silents, moving up the ladder to lead player with the 1929 John Ford talkie Salute. The boyish, open-faced Albertson was prominently cast in a number of Fox productions in the early 1930s, notably A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1931) and Just Imagine (1931). By the mid-1930s he had settled into such supporting roles as Katharine Hepburn's insensitive brother in Alice Adams (1935) and the green-as-grass playwright who falls into the clutches of the Marx Brothers in Room Service (1938). His best showing in the 1940s was as the wealthy hometown lad who loses Donna Reed to Jimmy Stewart in It's a Wonderful Life (1946). By the 1950s, a graying, mustachioed Albertson was playing aging corporate types. Frank Albertson's more memorable roles in the twilight of his career included the obnoxious millionaire whose bank deposit is pilfered by Janet Leigh in Hitchcock's Psycho (1960) and his uncredited turn as the flustered mayor of Sweetapple in Bye Bye Birdie (1963).

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