Frank Lovejoy

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Frank Lovejoy
Frank Lovejoy 1960.JPG
Lovejoy in 1960
Born(1912-03-28)March 28, 1912
DiedOctober 2, 1962(1962-10-02) (aged 50)
New York City, U.S.
Years active1948–1962
Frances Williams
(m. 1939; div. 1940)

(m. 1940)

Frank Andrew Lovejoy Jr. (March 28, 1912 – October 2, 1962) was an American actor in radio, film, and television. He is perhaps best remembered for appearing in the film noir The Hitch-Hiker and for starring in the radio drama Night Beat.

Early life[edit]

He was born in the Bronx, New York, but grew up in New Jersey. His father, Frank Andrew Lovejoy Sr., was a furniture salesman from Maine. His mother, Nora, was born in Massachusetts, to Irish immigrant parents.[1]


A successful radio actor, Lovejoy played Broadway Harry on the Gay Nineties Revue[2] and was heard on the 1930s crime drama series Gang Busters. Lovejoy was a narrator (during the first season) for the show This Is Your FBI.

In radio soap operas, Lovejoy played Dr. Christopher Ellerbe in Valiant Lady,[3] Sam Foster in This Day Is Ours,[4] and he had the roles of Brad Forbes on Brave Tomorrow and Larry Halliday in Bright Horizon.[5] He also played the title character on the syndicated The Blue Beetle in 1940, several episodes of The Whistler, and starred in the later newspaper drama series Night Beat in the early 1950s and in episodes of Suspense in the late 1950s. He also starred as John Malone in The Amazing Mr. Malone. He appeared as boxer Rory Malone in the March 20, 1949 episode of Pat Novak for Hire entitled "Rory Malone".[citation needed]


Lovejoy in 1958

Lovejoy mostly played supporting roles in films of the 1940s and 1950s. Appearing in movies such as Goodbye, My Fancy (1951) with Joan Crawford, and The Hitch-Hiker (1953) directed by Ida Lupino, Lovejoy was effective playing the movie's everyman in extraordinary situations. He was in several war movies, notably Stanley Kramer's Home of the Brave (1949), Breakthrough (1950), Joseph H. Lewis's Retreat, Hell! (1952) which portrayed the United States Marine Corps' withdrawal from the Chosin Reservoir (Changjin Reservoir) during the Korean War and as a Marine sergeant again in Beachhead (1954), and Strategic Air Command (1955) with James Stewart.

In 1950, he had the lead role in Try and Get Me (aka Sound of Fury) as a struggling, out-of-work man who fell to crime to support his family; in a film noir combining crime and murder with social injustice, an irresponsible newspaper and equally criminal public mob reactions.[6] In 1951, he had the title role in I Was a Communist for the FBI with co-stars Ron Hagerthy, Paul Picerni, and Philip Carey.


Lovejoy starred in two short-run TV series, Man Against Crime and Meet McGraw. Episodes of these two series have never been released commercially on DVD or VHS and never aired as reruns. Meet McGraw episodes were screened at the Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention.[citation needed]

Lovejoy's final television performances include the episode "County General" (March 18, 1962) on the ABC series Bus Stop with Marilyn Maxwell in the role of Grace Sherwood. That same season, he appeared on the ABC crime drama Target: The Corruptors! about the efforts of a New York City reporter to expose organized crime.

Personal life[edit]

Lovejoy was first married to Frances Williams, but the couple divorced in the late 1930s. In 1940, Lovejoy married actress Joan Banks, with whom he had a son and a daughter. On October 2, 1962, Lovejoy died of a heart attack in his sleep at his residence in New York City. He and Joan at the time had been performing together in a New Jersey production of Gore Vidal's play The Best Man.[7]


Year Title Role Notes
1948 Black Bart Mark Lorimer
1949 Home of the Brave Sergeant Mingo
1950 In a Lonely Place Detective Sergeant Brub Nicolai
South Sea Sinner Doc
Three Secrets Bob Duffy
Breakthrough Sgt. Pete Bell
Try and Get Me! Howard Tyler aka The Sound of Fury
1951 I Was a Communist for the FBI Matt Cvetic
Goodbye, My Fancy Matt Cole
Force of Arms Major Blackford
I'll See You in My Dreams Walter Donaldson
Starlift Himself
1952 Retreat, Hell! Lieutenant Colonel Steve L. Corbett
The Winning Team Rogers Hornsby
1953 She's Back on Broadway John Webber
The Hitch-Hiker Gilbert Bowen
House of Wax Lieutenant Thomas "Tom" Brennan
The System John E. 'Johnny' Merrick
The Charge at Feather River Sergeant Charlie Baker
1954 Beachhead Sgt. Fletcher
Men of the Fighting Lady Lieutenant Commander Paul Grayson
1955 The Americano Bento Hermany
Strategic Air Command General Ennis C. Hawkes
Top of the World Maj. Brad Cantrell
Mad at the World Police Capt. Tom Lynn
Finger Man Casey Martin
Shack Out on 101 Professor Bastion
The Crooked Web Stanley Fabian
1956 Julie Detective Lieutenant Pringle
1958 Cole Younger, Gunfighter Cole Younger
Year Title Role Notes
1957–1958 Meet McGraw McGraw
1957 Cavalcade of America Inspector Ed McCook Ep. 'Chicago 2-1-2'
Year Title Role Notes
1948 The Blue Beetle
1948 Box 13 Various support roles -
1950 Escape Episode: "Danger at Matecumbe"[8]
1950–1952 Night Beat Randy Stone
1952 Gang Busters
1952 Hollywood Sound Stage Episode: "One Way Passage"[9]
1952 Suspense Joe Broady Episode: "The Wreck of the Old 97"[10]
1952 Suspense Billy the Kid Episode: "The Shooting of Billy the Kid"[11]
1954 Suspense Mr. Kedman Episode: "The Man from Tomorrow"[12]


  1. ^ US Census 1920, Woodridge, Bergen Co., New Jersey, enumerator's district 125, sheet 18A
  2. ^ "Saturday's Highlights" (PDF). Radio and Television Mirror. Vol. 13, no. 4. February 1940. p. 52. Retrieved 22 February 2015.
  3. ^ Buxton, Frank and Owen, Bill (1972). The Big Broadcast: 1920–1950. The Viking Press. ISBN 978-0810829572. p. 249.
  4. ^ Senseney, Dan (September 1940). "What's New from Coast to Coast" (PDF). Radio and Television Mirror. Vol. 14, no. 5. pp. 36–37, 72. Retrieved 8 March 2015.
  5. ^ Dunning, John (1998). On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio. Oxford University Press. pp. 111, 119. ISBN 978-0-19-507678-3.
  6. ^ Silver, Alain and Elizabeth Ward (1992). Film Noir: An Encyclopedic Reference to the American Style. Woodstock, N.Y.: Overlook Press. p. 294. ISBN 9780879514792.
  7. ^ Digital Collections, The New York Public Library. "(still image) Frank Lovejoy and Shepperd Strudwick in the stage production The Best Man (touring company), (1962)". The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox, and Tilden Foundations. Retrieved June 12, 2021.
  8. ^ "Radio's Golden Age". Nostalgia Digest. Vol. 40, no. 1. Winter 2014. pp. 40–41.
  9. ^ Kirby, Walter (February 10, 1952). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 38. Retrieved June 2, 2015 – via open access
  10. ^ Kirby, Walter (March 16, 1952). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 44. Retrieved May 23, 2015 – via open access
  11. ^ Kirby, Walter (April 27, 1952). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 48. Retrieved May 9, 2015 – via open access
  12. ^ "Suspense 1957 – Single Episodes" (MP3). Retrieved March 4, 2018 – via open access

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