Frank Bank Wiki Bio

The late American actor Frank Bank was born in Los Angeles, California USA, on 12 April 1942, meaning that Aries was his zodiac sign. He appeared in only 16 movies and TV series, and is perhaps still remembered best for playing Clarence Rutherford in 50 episodes of the critically acclaimed family comedy series “Leave It to Beaver”, created by Dick Conway, Bob Mosher and Joe Connelly, and which starred Jerry Mathers and Barbara Billingsley. It follows the lives of a suburban boy, his friends and family, the series aired 236 episodes from 1957 through 1963, and won four of its 10 award nominations.

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Education and early life

Frank was raised in Los Angeles by his parents, about whom not a lot is known because Frank respected their privacy; his father’s believed to had been a janitor, and his mother an elementary school teacher. Frank rarely spoke about having siblings, but it’s known that his brother Douglas Bank was also an actor.

He fell in love with acting at the age of six, and was 10 when he made his debut film appearance, playing Young Will Rogers in the biographical comedy “The Story of Will Rogers”, directed by Michal Curtiz, and which starred Will Rogers Jr, Jane Wyman and Carl Benton Reid. It follows a young man who’s trying to succeed as a cowboy.

Frank continued acting while simultaneously working on his education; he studied at a local high school, and upon matriculating in 1960 chose to focus on his career, rather than enroll at college.

Roles in TV series

Frank’s debut TV series appearance was playing Clarence Miggs in the 1952 episode “Life, Liberty and Orrin Dooley” of the musical comedy “The Ford Television Theatre”, which starred Philip Carey, Laraine Day and Willis Brouchey, and follows the lives of several actors and actresses; the series aired from 1952 through 1957, and was nominated for two awards.

Frank could then have been seen playing Boy in Cafeteria with Bud in the 1956 episode “The Persistent Guest” of the family comedy “Father Knows Best”, Camper in the 1958 episode “Free Weekend” of the crime comedy “Playhouse 90”, and Henry Purdy in the 1959 episode “The Bitter Lesson” of the western “Cimarron City”.

The year 1961 saw Frank play Tiny in the episode “Ballet-Oop” of the popular comedy “Westinghouse Playhouse”, created by Ranald MacDougall, and which starred Nanette Fabray, Wendell Corey and Bobby Diamond; it follows Broadway star Nan who’s married widower Dan McGovern, while Dan’s confided in her that he hasn’t told his children about the marriage. The year 1962 saw Frank appear in an episode of both the family comedy “Bachelor Father” and the crime drama “87th Precinct”, and he then disappeared from the film industry for 20 years, during which time he worked as a bond broker in Los Angeles.

Frank’s only other TV series role was playing Clarence Rutherford in all the 101 episodes of the family comedy “The New Leave It to Beaver”, which Brian Levant created, and which starred Barbara Billingsley and Jerry Mathers. It follows the adventures of adult Beaver Cleaver, the series aired from 1983 through 1989, and won four of its 17 award nominations.

Roles in movies

In 1961, Frank portrayed Paul Finnerty in the crime thriller “Man-Trap”, directed by Edmond O’Brien, and which starred Jeffrey Hunter, David Janssen and Stella Stevens; it follows two Korean War veterans as they’re pulling off a heist at an airport in San Francisco.

Frank played Archie Andrews in the 1962 comedy “Life with Archie”, and his following film role came in 1983, when cast to play Clarence Rutherford in the comedy “Still the Beaver”, directed by Steven Hilliard Stern, and which starred Jerry Mathers, Barbara Billingsley and Tony Dow; it follows the lives of most of the characters previously seen in the series “Leave It to Beaver”. Also in 1983, Frank played Mr. Gerardi in the comedy “High School U.S.A.”.

His only other film role before he officially retired from acting was playing Frank in the 1997 family comedy “Leave It to Beaver”, which follows the life of eight years old Theodore ‘Beaver’ Cleaver; the movie was nominated for four awards.

Other work and death

Frank resumed working as a bond broker after he retired from acting, and published his autobiography “My Leave It To Beaver Days and Other Wild Hollywood Life” in 1997; in the book, Frank wrote about how thanks to his fame, he slept with more than 1,000 women.

He died from cancer a day after his 71st birthday, on 13 April 2013; Frank was buried at Culver City’s Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery.

Love life and marriages

Frank married thrice. His first wife was non-celebrity American Marlene Kay Blau; they exchanged vows on 29 December 1963, but divorced less than two years later.

On 29 January 1966, Frank married another non-celebrity American, Jeri Lynn Handelman, and they had two daughters together; both Frank and Jeri preferred to keep the girls away from media, and thus their names and birthdates remain undisclosed. Frank and Jeri divorced on 27 January 1982.

From 26 February 1982 until his death, Frank was married to his third wife, Rebecca Fink; he was stepfather to her two daughters.

Even though Frank wrote about sleeping with more than 1,000 women, he never disclosed the names and professions of any of them, as he respected their privacy.

Interesting facts and hobbies

Frank had five grandchildren.

Not many people know that Frank was born during an air raid drill, in a hospital corridor.

Frank’s profiled in Fred Ascher and Kathy Garver’s 2016 book “X Child Stars: Where Are They Now?”

He was a highly social man, and had numerous friends.

Frank was into charity work, and donated a lot of money to youth interested in acting and sports.

Frank’s favorite actors were Clint Eastwood and Robert De Niro, and some of his favorite movies included “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”, “Dirty Harry”, and “Escape from Alcatraz”.

Height, eyes and wealth

Frank was 71 at the time of his death, and would’ve been 80 today. His hair and eyes were brown, he was 5ft 6ins (1.67m) tall and weighed around 170lbs (78kgs).

Frank’s net worth at the time of his death was estimated at over $3 million.

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