Actor Frank Albertson

Francis Healey Albertson (February 2, 1909 – February 29, 1964) was an American actor who had supporting roles in films such as It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) and Psycho (1960).

Early years

Albertson was a native of Fergus Falls, Minnesota, the first child of Frank B. and Mary (née Healey) Albertson. He spent his childhood first in nearby Frazee, and later in Puyallup, Washington. As a young man in Los Angeles, he worked as a laboratory assistant in a photographic shop, which resulted in contacts leading to his acting career.


Albertson made well over 100 appearances (1923–1964) in movies and television. In his early career he often sang and danced in such films as Just Imagine (1930) and A Connecticut Yankee (1931). He was featured in Alice Adams (1935) as the title character’s brother, and in Room Service (1938) he played opposite the Marx Brothers. He served in the U.S. Army Air Forces’ First Motion Picture Unit making training films during World War II. As he aged. he moved from featured roles to supporting and character parts—in his later career he can be seen as Sam Wainwright, the businessman fond of saying “Hee-Haw” in the movie It’s a Wonderful Life (1946).

On October 10, 1950, Albertson starred in “Give and Take” on Armstrong Circle Theatre. He portrayed future U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt in the 1956 episode “Rough Rider” of the television series My Friend Flicka. He guest-starred in the western series The Californians and twice in the crime drama Richard Diamond, Private Detective.

He was cast in 1959 and 1962 in different roles on Walter Brennan’s sitcom The Real McCoys. In 1960, he appeared as General Devery in the episode “Strange Encounter” of the series Colt .45.

In 1960 Albertson appeared as Johnny Kent on Cheyenne in the episode titled “The Long Rope.”[citation needed] In 1960, he played the wealthy rancher Tom Cassidy at the beginning of Psycho (1960) who provides the $40,000 in cash that Janet Leigh’s character later steals. In the 1960-61 television season, he played the character Mr. Cooper in five episodes of the sitcom Bringing Up Buddy, starring Frank Aletter. In 1962 he appeared as Henry Bildy on the TV western Lawman in the episode titled “Heritage of Hate.”[citation needed]

In 1964, Albertson was cast as Jim O’Neal in the episode “The Death of a Teacher” of drama Mr. Novak. One of his latter screen appearances was as Sam, the bewildered mayor of Sweet Apple, Ohio in the 1963 film musical Bye Bye Birdie.

His last appearance was on The Andy Griffith Show, in which he played a Marine commander completing an inspection. The episode aired on May 19, 1964, three months after Albertson died.


Albertson died in his sleep at his home in Santa Monica, California on February 29, 1964, aged 55. The cause of death was an apparent heart attack. He had five children[note 1] from his two marriages. He was buried in Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City, California.


For his contributions to the film industry, Albertson received a motion pictures star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6754 Hollywood Boulevard. The star was dedicated on February 8, 1960.


  • The Covered Wagon (1923) as Minor Role (uncredited)
  • The Farmer’s Daughter (1928) as Allan Boardman Jr.
  • Prep and Pep (1928) as Bunk Hill
  • Blue Skies (1929) as Richard Lewis (episode 2)
  • Words and Music (1929) as Skeet Mulroy
  • Salute (1929) as Midshipman Albert Edward Price
  • Happy Days (1929) as Frankie Albertson
  • Men Without Women (1930) as Ensign Albert Edward Price
  • The Big Party (1930) as Jack Hunter
  • Son of the Gods (1930) as Kicker
  • Spring Is Here (1930) as Stacy Adams
  • Born Reckless (1930) as Frank Sheldon
  • So This Is London (1930) as Junior Draper
  • Wild Company (1930) as Larry Grayson
  • Just Imagine (1930) as RT-42
  • A Connecticut Yankee (1931) as Emile le Poulet / Clarence
  • Big Business Girl (1931) as Johnny Saunders
  • Traveling Husbands (1931) as Barry Greene
  • The Brat (1931) as Stephen Forester
  • Way Back Home (1931) as David Clark
  • The Tiger’s Son (1931)
  • The Cohens and Kellys in Hollywood (1932) as Frank Albertson (uncredited)
  • Racing Youth (1932) as Teddy Blue
  • Huddle (1932) as Larry
  • Air Mail (1932) as Tommy Bogan
  • The Lost Special (1932, Serial) as Tom Hood
  • The Billion Dollar Scandal (1933) as Babe Partos
  • The Cohens and Kellys in Trouble (1933) as Bob Graham
  • Ann Carver’s Profession (1933) as Jim Thompson
  • Dangerous Crossroads (1933)
  • Midshipman Jack (1933) as Russell H. Burns
  • Ever in My Heart (1933) as Sam Archer
  • Rainbow Over Broadway (1933) as Don Hayes
  • King for a Night (1933) as Dick Morris
  • The Last Gentleman (1934) as Allan Blaine, Augusta’s adopted son
  • The Life of Vergie Winters (1934) as Ranny Truesdale
  • Hollywood Hoodlum (1934) as Daniel Patrick Ryan
  • Bachelor of Arts (1934) as Pete Illings
  • Enter Madame (1935) as John Fitzgerald
  • College Scandal (1935) as Student (scenes deleted)
  • Doubting Thomas (1935) as Jimmy Brown
  • Alice Adams (1935) as Walter Adams
  • Waterfront Lady (1935) as Ronny Hillyer aka Bill
  • Personal Maid’s Secret (1935) as Kent Fletcher
  • East of Java (1935) as Larry Page
  • Kind Lady (1935) as Peter Santard
  • Ah, Wilderness! (1935) as Arthur
  • The Farmer in the Dell (1936) as Davy Davenport
  • Fury (1936) as Charlie
  • The Plainsman (1936) as A Young Trooper
  • Navy Blue and Gold (1937) as Weeks
  • Hold That Kiss (1938) as Steve Evans
  • Mother Carey’s Chickens (1938) as Tom Hamilton Jr.
  • Fugitives for a Night (1938) as Matt Ryan
  • Room Service (1938) as Leo Davis
  • Spring Madness (1938) as Hat
  • The Shining Hour (1938) as Benny Collins
  • Bachelor Mother (1939) as Freddie Miller
  • Framed (1940) as Henry T. ‘Hank’ Parker
  • The Ghost Comes Home (1940) as Ernest
  • When the Daltons Rode (1940) as Emmett Dalton
  • Dr. Christian Meets the Women (1940) as Bill Ferris
  • Behind the News (1940) as Jeff Flavin
  • Ellery Queen’s Penthouse Mystery (1941) as Sanders
  • Man Made Monster (1941) as Mark Adams
  • Father Steps Out (1941) as Jimmy Dugan
  • Citadel of Crime (1941) as Jim Rogers
  • Burma Convoy (1941) as Mike Weldon
  • Flying Cadets (1941) as Bob Ames
  • Louisiana Purchase (1941) as Robert Davis, Jr.
  • Man from Headquarters (1942) as Larry Doyle
  • Shepherd of the Ozarks (1942) as Lieutenant James J. ‘Jimmy’ Maloney, Jr.
  • Junior G-Men of the Air (1942, Serial) as Jerry Markham
  • Wake Island (1942) as Johnny Rudd
  • City of Silent Men (1942) as Gil Davis
  • Underground Agent (1942) as Johnny Davis
  • Silent Witness (1943) as Bruce L. Strong – Attorney
  • Keep ‘Em Slugging (1943) as Frank Moulton
  • Here Comes Elmer (1943) as Joe Maxwell
  • Mystery Broadcast (1943) as Michael Jerome
  • O, My Darling Clementine (1943) as ‘Dapper’ Dan Franklin
  • Rosie the Riveter (1944) as Charlie Doran
  • And the Angels Sing (1944) as Oliver
  • I Love a Soldier (1944) as Little Soldier (uncredited)
  • Arson Squad (1945) as Tom Mitchell
  • How Doooo You Do!!! (1945) as Tom Brandon
  • Gay Blades (1946) as Frankie Dowell
  • They Made Me a Killer (1946) as Patrolman Al Wilson
  • Ginger (1946) as Barney O’Hara
  • It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) as Sam Wainwright
  • The Hucksters (1947) as Max Herman
  • Killer Dill (1947) as William T. Allen
  • Shed No Tears (1948) as Lt. Hutton – Police Detective
  • Main Street to Broadway (1953) as Frank Albertson (uncredited)
  • Girl on the Run (1953) as Hank
  • The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956) as Worker at the Taxidermist’s (uncredited)
  • Nightfall (1957) as Dr. Edward Gurston
  • The Enemy Below (1957) as Lt. Crain
  • The Last Hurrah (1958) as Jack Mangan
  • Official Detective (1958, Episode: “Muggers”) as Detective David ‘King’ Cassidy
  • Psycho (1960) as Tom Cassidy
  • Man-Trap (1961) as Paul Snavely
  • Don’t Knock the Twist (1962) as Herbert ‘Herb’ Walcott
  • Papa’s Delicate Condition (1963) as Gambler (uncredited)
  • Bye Bye Birdie (1963) as Sam – The Mayor
  • Johnny Cool (1963) as Bill Blakely
  • External Links

    Actor Frank Albertson – Wikipedia

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