Frank Wilcox was a prolific American actor who appeared in more than 150 films and nearly 200 episodes of television programs. He was best known for his roles as John Brewster in The Beverly Hillbillies, Joe Spaulding in I Love Lucy, and various historical figures such as Henry Clay and Abraham Lincoln. But how did Frank Wilcox die? What was the cause of his death? In this article, we will explore the life and death of Frank Wilcox, and the legacy he left behind.
Early Life and Career
Frank Wilcox was born on March 13, 1907, in De Soto, Missouri, to Roger V. Wilcox and his wife. He moved to Atchison, Kansas, with his family when he was young. He developed an interest in acting and joined the Pasadena Community Playhouse in California. He also worked as an oil company’s sales manager in Kansas City before pursuing his acting career full-time.
Wilcox made his film debut in 1930, and soon became a contract player for Warner Bros. He appeared in many short films and feature films, often playing supporting roles as authority figures, lawyers, judges, doctors, and politicians. He also portrayed historical characters such as Henry Clay in The Monroe Doctrine (1939), Abraham Lincoln in Old Hickory (1939), and John Gould in God’s Healing (1956).
During World War II, Wilcox served on a destroyer in the U.S. Navy. He resumed his acting career after the war, and expanded his work to television. He guest-starred in many popular shows, such as The Lone Ranger, The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show, The People’s Choice, Sugarfoot, The Gale Storm Show, and Private Secretary.
The Beverly Hillbillies and I Love Lucy
Wilcox’s most memorable role was as John Brewster, the oil executive who discovered oil on the Clampett family’s land and moved them to Beverly Hills in the sitcom The Beverly Hillbillies. He appeared in the first season of the show, from 1962 to 1963, and reprised his role in a few episodes in later seasons. He also appeared in the 1966 film The Beverly Hillbillies.
Another notable role of Wilcox was as Joe Spaulding, the real estate agent who tried to sell a country house to Lucy and Ricky Ricardo in the sitcom I Love Lucy. He appeared in the episode “Lucy Wants to Move to the Country” in 1957, and delivered the famous line “I’m sorry, Mrs. Ricardo, but you can’t have the house. It’s been sold to another couple.” He also appeared in another episode of I Love Lucy, “Lucy and the Loving Cup” in 1956, as a policeman.
Death and Legacy
Frank Wilcox died of a heart attack on March 3, 1974, at the age of 66. He was survived by his wife, Joy Langston, whom he married in 1953, and his three children. He was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills, California.
Frank Wilcox was a versatile and reliable actor who appeared in hundreds of films and television shows. He worked with many famous stars, such as Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney, Bette Davis, Errol Flynn, Charlton Heston, Lucille Ball, and Elvis Presley. He left a lasting impression on the audiences with his distinctive voice and demeanor. He was a part of the golden age of Hollywood and television, and his work is still enjoyed by many fans today.