Frank Wilcox

Frank Reppy Wilcox (March 13, 1907 – March 3, 1974) was an American actor. He appeared in numerous films and television series, as well as Broadway plays.

Frank Wilcox
Frank Reppy Wilcox

(1907-03-13)March 13, 1907
De Soto, Missouri, U.S.
DiedMarch 3, 1974(1974-03-03) (aged 66)
Granada Hills, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Resting placeSan Fernando Mission Cemetery
Other namesFrank R. Wilcox
EducationUniversity of Kansas
Benedictine College
Pasadena Playhouse
Years active1930–1973
Joy Langston
(m. 1953; his death 1974)


Wilcox was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Roger V. Wilcox.[1] Though born in De Soto, Missouri, he was reared primarily in Atchison, Kansas. He attended the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas for a year, where he was a fraternity brother of subsequent newsman John Cameron Swayze. He graduated in 1933 from St. Benedict's College, now Benedictine College, in Atchison. Years later, Wilcox was an active and honored trustee of Benedictine College.[2]

Wilcox first came to California to live with his grandparents and to work in the lemon groves near Pomona, California. He later opened a tire repair shop in Pomona and helped to establish a theater company. He joined the Pasadena Community Playhouse,[1] where he met George Reeves, before Reeves was cast as Clark Kent in Adventures of Superman. He and Reeves were in 11 films together, and Wilcox was best man at Reeves' wedding.[2]

During World War II, Wilcox served on a destroyer[1] earned five battle stars. During the 1960s, he was the "honorary mayor" of his city of residence, Granada Hills, California. He was "honorary fire chief" of Los Angeles, which on January 11, 1964, observed "Frank Wilcox Day." He served on the Screen Actors Guild board of directors.[2]

Wilcox became a contract player for Warner Bros., beginning with the 1939 short film The Monroe Doctrine, in which he was chosen to portray the American statesman Henry Clay during the early 1820s.[2] He played Abraham Lincoln as a militia captain in another 1939 film short Old Hickory, based on key events in the public career of President Andrew Jackson, played by Hugh Sothern.[3]

Another film role was as the circus doctor in the 1952 production The Greatest Show on Earth, starring Charlton Heston.[3]

In 1951, already at work in the new medium of television, Wilcox was cast in two episodes of the police drama Racket Squad, starring Reed Hadley and narrated by Hugh Beaumont. Between 1952 and 1955, he guest-starred four times in different roles on the television series The Lone Ranger. In 1956, Wilcox portrayed the character John Gould in "God's Healing" on the religion Crossroads. The same year, he was cast as Duncan Glowrie in the episode "Bonnie Lassie" of The Gale Storm Show.[3] From 1955 to 1958, he appeared three times on Jackie Cooper's sitcom The People's Choice.

In 1957, Wilcox guest-starred in the episode "Quicksilver" of Sugarfoot, starring Will Hutchins as a young frontier law student. His best known television role, the one which brought him great recognition from millions of viewers, was that of the oil executive John Brewster in the first season of The Beverly Hillbillies.[3]

Wilcox appeared in 1957 as Joe Spaulding in "Lucy Wants to Move to the Country," one of the later episodes of Lucille Ball's CBS sitcom I Love Lucy. He appeared as well on Ann Sothern's sitcom Private Secretary.[3]

Between 1953 and 1956, Wilcox made 16 appearances in different roles on 'The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show.[3] He appeared three times in two different roles from 1961 to 1962 on Pete and Gladys, starring Harry Morgan and Cara Williams.

In 1959, he was cast as Colonel Dodge in the episode "Man to Man" of the syndicated western series, Frontier Doctor, starring Rex Allen. He guest-starred on the ABC sitcoms Leave It to Beaver, The Donna Reed Show and The Real McCoys.[3]

Wilcox made several guest appearances as a judge on Perry Mason during the nine-year run of that program. In 1961, he appeared as the judge on the "Jack Benny Show, titled "Jack on Trial for Murder", which had Raymond Burr as a guest star appearing as Perry Mason in a dream sequence where Jack dreams that he is on trial for murder and Perry Mason is his defense attorney. Wilcox also appeared as a judge in the 1961 episode "The Dentist" of Angel.[3] Wilcox was also renowned for his performances in numerous episodes of The Untouchables as Federal District Attorney Beecher Asbury. He played a guest-starring role in The Munsters in which, hosting a masquerade ball, he is made up to resemble Herman Munster. His last television role was as Judge Moon in a 1973 episode of Kung Fu, starring David Carradine.[3]


On March 3, 1974, Wilcox died in Los Angeles.[4]

Selected filmography


  1. "Actor Frank Wilcox Visits Relatives". The Daily Journal. Missouri, Flat River. October 18, 1973. p. 7. Retrieved August 20, 2018 via
  2. "Biography of Frank Wilcox". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved February 17, 2013.
  3. "Frank Wilcox". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved February 17, 2013.
  4. "Frank Wilcox, Played Roles in 166 Movies". Tampa Bay Times. Florida, St. Petersburg. March 6, 1974. p. 39. Retrieved August 20, 2018 via
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