Richard Frank (actor)
January 4, 1953|
|Died||August 27, 1995
Los Angeles, California
Richard Frank (January 4, 1953 – August 27, 1995) was an American actor. He was perhaps best known as Father Vogler in the 1984 movie Amadeus. Frank had numerous guest appearances in popular TV shows, with a regular role in the 1989 Jamie Lee Curtis sitcom Anything but Love.
Born in Boston, Frank was a graduate of Juilliard's acting school. In addition, Frank appeared in numerous theater productions, including Hang on to Me at the Guthrie Theater, which was directed by Peter Sellars, as well as many productions in Los Angeles, mostly at the Taper. He created the Struggling Actor's Coloring Book and dozens of paintings, which are now in private collections. He was noted by colleagues for his intelligence and endless wit.
By 1993, Frank had already gone public with his affliction with AIDS. He continued working heavily in television as long as his health allowed. In the wake of his public disclosure, Frank was asked to guest star in a very special and true-to-life role in the fourth season Life Goes On episode "Bedfellows". Frank played Richard, the hospital roommate of Jesse McKenna (Chad Lowe), while both were admitted for illnesses related to their AIDS statuses. Richard has a more advanced stage of AIDS, and is not expected to live much longer; Jesse has to convince Richard at one point not to take his life by jumping off the hospital roof. Richard does lose his battle with AIDS before episode's end, but not before passing on wisdom to Jesse for his own dealings with his illness.
Following his landmark appearance on Life Goes On, Frank's health began a gradual decline, but throughout 1994, he kept up his steady guest turns on series ranging from The Larry Sanders Show to Matlock. By the beginning of 1995, in order to preserve his frail health, Frank made the more permanent decision to become a television director. That year, an episode of Mad About You he directed was slated to be the first of many such jobs for the actor, but ultimately it became his final work in show business.
On August 27, 1995, Frank died in Los Angeles, California of complications from AIDS.
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