|Born||Frank Edgar Richard Whitten
15 November 1942
Te Aroha, Waikato Region, New Zealand
|Died||12 February 2011
|Spouse(s)||Jana Boková (1970–1979)|
Frank Edgar Richard Whitten (15 November 1942 – 12 February 2011) was a New Zealand television actor. He was more recently known for playing Ted "Grandpa" West in the New Zealand television show Outrageous Fortune.
Early life and education
Frank Whitten was born in Te Aroha and grew up in the Waikato Region in the 1940s and 50s. Around 1963, "with very little experience and even less money", he left for England to become an actor. He also spent time as an improvisational tutor at leading British drama school the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, and by 1970 was the school's vice-principal. Over the next eighteen years, Whitten worked in a children's community theatre company he co-founded called Common Stock, which developed plays with, and for, working-class children.
In 1982 Whitten returned to New Zealand and began acting in theatre. Two years later, he appeared as an exploitative guru of a commune in Trespasses, the movie spin off of police show Mortimer's Patch. The same year, Whitten played the enigmatic farmer who strides into the isolated rural world of a young child in Vigil, the first feature directed by Vincent Ward. In the mid-1980s he joined the serial Heroes, playing roadie to a group of young musicians. He followed this role by playing one of the main roles on historical drama Heart of the High Country, based on the novel by English author Elizabeth Gowans.
Whitten had a role in the short film Accidents, and small roles in the romance Arriving Tuesday, Zilch, The Returning, and two international thrillers, Chill Factor and Hot Target. In 2003, he appeared in P.J. Hogan's live action remake of Peter Pan.
On television, he made guest appearances on Erebus: The Aftermath, Gloss, The Chosen, Ray Bradbury Theatre and Mysterious Island, and a lead role in the award-winning miniseries The Leaving of Liverpool.
|1984||Heroes||Leslie||Series regular, 9 episodes|
|1985||Heart of the High Country||Reg Bowen||Main role|
|1986||Open House||Tony Van Der Berg||"Happy Birthday" (S01E01)|
|1989||The Brotherhood of the Rose||unknown||Miniseries|
|1989||The Shadow Trader||Kevin McCarthy||Episode 1|
|1990||The New Adventures of Black Beauty||Gilbert de Mauria||"Deceptive Appearances" (S01E05)|
|1990||The Ray Bradbury Theater||Mr. Cooger||"The Black Ferris" (S04E04)|
|1992||The Leaving of Liverpool||Brother Jerome||unknown|
|1992||The Ray Bradbury Theater||Odd Martin||"The Dead Man" (S06E07)|
|1992||The Ray Bradbury Theater||Mailman||"Great Wide World Over There" (S06E14)|
|1993||Phoenix||Stan Cutler||"In on the Joke" (S02E08)|
|1993||Police Rescue||Glasel||"Speeding" (S03E08)|
|1993-1994||Secrets||Tom Jacobs||Main role|
|1995||Heartbreak High||Bob||Season 2, Episode 5|
|1995||Mysterious Island||Ayrton||Main role|
|1996||Naked: Stories of Men||Father Dunfree||"Coral Island" (S01E01)|
|1996||Sun on the Stubble||Pastor||Miniseries, unknown episodes|
|1996||City Life||Carl Jones||Season 1, Episodes 7 & 8|
|1997||Murder Call||Blackie||"Heartstopper" (S01E16)|
|1998||Good Guys, Bad Guys||Beau Kinsella||"100% Proof" (S02E09)|
|1999||All Saints||Ken Burns||"If These Walls Could Talk" (S02E05)|
|2001||Changi||Dr. Potter||"Private Bill" (S01E03)|
|2003||All Saints||Albert Tolz||"Destiny's Child" (S06E03)|
|2004||All Saints||Joe McLean||"When Worlds Collide" (S07E24)|
|2004||Love My Way||Kel||"Stick Sisters" (S01E05)|
|2005-2010||Outrageous Fortune||'Grandpa' Ted West||Main role|
|1988||The Clean Machine||Premier John Morgan|
|1990||Ring of Scorpio||John Walker||Drama|
|1997||The Ripper||Dr. Pearce||Thriller|
|1998||The Chosen||Eddie O'Connor||Drama|
|1999||Airtight||Escher||Action / Drama / Romance / Sci-Fi / Thriller|
|2005||Hell Has Harbour Views||Giles Taffy QC||Drama / Comedy|
Frank Whitten penned the stage drama Trifecta.
- Megahey, Leslie: Esteemed drama teacher and actor who was prominent in radical theatre, The Age, 11 April 2011.
- Craig, Sandy (1980). Dreams and deconstructions: alternative theatre in Britain. Amber Lane Press. ISBN 0-906399-19-X.
- Frank Whitten Biography, NZ On Screen.
- Outrageous Fortune actor Frank Whitten has died - throng.co.nz
- Murray, James (13 February 2011). "Frank Whitten - Outrageous Fortune's Grandpa has died". 3 News. Retrieved 30 September 2011.
- Official Media Statement on Whitten's death
- Rodger, Kate (14 February 2011). "Co-stars pay tribute to Outrageous Fortune's Frank whitten". 3 News. Retrieved 30 September 2011.