Frank Ferrante

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Frank Vincent Ferrante (born April 26, 1963) is an American stage actor, comedian and director known for his stage portrayals of the legendary American comedian Groucho Marx in the Arthur Marx/Robert Fisher play Groucho: A Life in Revue and in An Evening With Groucho, which tours internationally.


Born in Los Angeles, California, Ferrante was raised in Sierra Madre, California [1] by the offspring of Italian immigrants Dominic and Theresa (Torres) Ferrante. His father was a stockbroker; his mother a housewife and preschool teacher. He attended Catholic schools including Christian Brothers-run La Salle High School in Pasadena, California where he first performed comedy.


Discovered in 1985 by Groucho's son, the playwright Arthur Marx,[2] when Ferrante was attending the University of Southern California Division of Drama, Ferrante went on to portray Groucho from age 15 to 85 in the New York City, London and PBS television versions of Arthur's play. Ferrante was 23 years old when Groucho: A Life in Revue opened off-Broadway at the Lucille Lortel Theatre in 1986.[3]

Ferrante played the Groucho inspired roles off-Broadway in The Cocoanuts in 1996 and regional productions of Animal Crackers at Goodspeed Opera House,[4] The Huntington Theatre, Atlanta's Alliance Theatre, Paper Mill Playhouse [5] and Arena Stage. In July 2018 Ferrante reprised his role in The Cocoanuts for the Heritage Theatre Festival in Charlottesville.

Ferrante acts and directs throughout the regions most notably at Philadelphia's Walnut Street Theatre where he directed and developed the premiere of the Pulitzer Prize finalist Old Wicked Songs. There Ferrante starred as playwright/director George S. Kaufman in the one-man play written by Frank entitled By George.

Since 2001, Ferrante performs his improvisationally based comedy in the European style cirque show Teatro ZinZanni [6] playing an outrageous Latin lover named Caesar. In Zinzanni, Ferrante played opposite legendary cabaret star Liliane Montevecchi, Joan Baez, Sally Kellerman and The Motels' Martha Davis. In 2004, he became a question on the television program Jeopardy!. He portrayed Lyman in a 2012 special of The Garfield Show.[7] In 2015, he played the role of Stockholder Eel in the SpongeBob SquarePants episode The Executive Treatment, where he made various visual gags and even made a reference to Groucho Marx.[8]

Awards and nominations[edit]

  • 1987 New York Theater World Award (For Outstanding New Talent) [9]
  • 1987 New York Outer Critics Circle Nomination (Most Striking Debut)
  • 1987 Laurence Olivier Award Nomination (Comedy Performance of the Year) [10]
  • 1992 Connecticut Critics Circle Award (Best Actor in a Musical)
  • 1999 Connecticut Critics Circle Award (Best Actor in a Play)
  • 1999 Helen Hayes Award Nomination (Best Actor in a Musical)


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  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-09-16. Retrieved 2009-08-15.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
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