August 13, 1913|
October 13, 1988 (aged 75)|
Los Angeles, California
|Education||B.A. University of Chicago|
|Occupation||Screenwriter, film director, film producer|
Anne Ray (m. ??; div. ??)|
Juliet (m. ??)
|Children||3; including Elizabeth Frank|
Melvin Frank (13 August 1913 in Chicago, Illinois – 13 October 1988 in Los Angeles, California) was an American screenwriter, film producer and film director. He is known for his work on films such as Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948), The Court Jester (1956), and A Touch of Class (1973).
Life and career
Born to a Jewish family, Frank graduated from the University of Chicago, where he met his future collaborator Norman Panama. They went on to form a writing partnership which endured for three decades. Some of their most notable films as co-writers include Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948) and White Christmas (1954), among many others, and co-directing films such as The Court Jester (1956). They wrote a broadway play together, which was later adapted into Li'l Abner (1959), directed by Frank. They also worked on two films in the popular Road to ... series, Road to Utopia (1946) and The Road to Hong Kong (1962).
Frank went on to a successful solo career as a film director, most notably directing the acclaimed romantic comedy A Touch of Class (1973), starring George Segal and Glenda Jackson. The film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture and Jackson won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role. Subsequent films directed by Frank include The Duchess and the Dirtwater Fox (1976) and Lost and Found (1979).
Frank's first wife was Anne Ray, younger sister of actress Jigee Viertel. At the time of his death he was still married to his second wife, Juliet. He had three children, Pulitzer Prize-winning daughter Elizabeth Frank and sons Andrew and James.
- My Favorite Blonde (with Norman Panama) (1942) (story only)
- Road to Utopia (with Norman Panama) (1946)
- Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (with Norman Panama) (1948)
- White Christmas (with Norman Panama and Norman Krasna) (1954)
- Knock on Wood (with Norman Panama) (1954) (also co-director)
- The Court Jester (with Norman Panama) (1956) (also co-director)
- Li'l Abner (with Norman Panama) (1959) (also director)
- The Facts of Life (with Norman Panama) (1960) (also director)
- The Road to Hong Kong (with Norman Panama) (1962)
- Strange Bedfellows (with Norman Panama and Michael Pertwee) (1965) (also director)
- Not with My Wife, You Don't! (with Norman Panama, Peter Barnes and Larry Gelbart) (1966)
- A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (with Michael Pertwee) (1966)
- Buona Sera, Mrs. Campbell (with Denis Norden and Sheldon Keller) (1968) (also director)
- A Touch of Class (with Jack Rose) (1973) (also director)
- The Duchess and the Dirtwater Fox (with Barry Sandler and Jack Rose) (1976) (also director)
- Lost and Found (with Jack Rose) (1979) (also director)
- Walk Like a Man (1987) (director only)
- Erens, Patricia (1998). The Jew in American Cinema. Indiana University Press. p. 392. ISBN 978-0-253-20493-6.
- Collins, Glenn (1988-10-15). "Melvin Frank, Producer, Director and Writer of Movies, Dies at 75". The New York Times. Retrieved 2018-01-28.
- Beck, Nicholas (October 2001). Budd Schulberg: A Bio-bibliography. Scarecrow Press. p. 13. ISBN 9780810840355.
- TCM Database entry