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Frank Jenks

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Frank Jenks
Frank Jenks in The Missing Corpse (1945).jpg
Jenks in The Missing Corpse (1945)
Born(1902-11-04)November 4, 1902
DiedMay 13, 1962(1962-05-13) (aged 59)
Years active1933–1962

Frank Jenks (November 4, 1902 – May 13, 1962) was an acid-voiced American supporting actor of stage and films.


Early years

Jenks was born in Des Moines, Iowa,[1] and his mother gave him a trombone when he was 9 years old. By his late teens he was playing with Eddie Peabody and his band. Later, he became a studio musician in Hollywood, California.[2]

Movie career

Jenks began in vaudeville and went on to a long career in movies and television, mostly in comedy. He was one of the more familiar faces and voices of the Hollywood Studio era. For almost ten years beginning in the early 1920s, Jenks was a song and dance man in vaudeville.

In 1933, when sound films had become the norm, and Broadway actors were moving to Hollywood in droves, Jenks's flat, sarcastic delivery landed him a film career. Usually a supporting actor, Jenks did appear occasionally as a film lead for low-budget films for PRC. Jenks appeared in not a few classics. In the Cary Grant-Rosalind Russell classic His Girl Friday (1940), Jenks had his most famous role, as the cynical newsman "Wilson." When television began, Jenks made a successful transition.

Jenks' biggest continuing role was that of Uthas P. Garvey, the skeptical, proletarian right-hand man for the loquacious English conman Colonel Humphrey Flack (1953-1954), in the DuMont TV series of that name.[3] He reprised the role in a syndicated version of Colonel Humphrey Flack that was syndicated in 1958.[4]

Jenks portrayed Lieutenant Rodney in the DuMont series Front Page Detective (1951-1952),[4]: 369-370  and he was a member of the cast of The Eddie Cantor Comedy Theater, which was syndicated in 1955.[4]: 298 


On May 13, 1962, Jenks died of cancer in Hollywood, California, at age 59.[1]

Selected filmography


  1. ^ a b Gordon, Dr Roger L. (January 23, 2018). Supporting Actors in Motion Pictures. Dorrance Publishing. pp. 10–11. ISBN 978-1-4809-4499-2. Retrieved September 8, 2020.
  2. ^ "Career Of Frank Jenks On Rise Again". Oshkosh Daily Northwestern. Wisconsin, Oshkosh. United Press. April 1, 1954. p. 20. Retrieved September 26, 2016 – via open access
  3. ^ Terrace, Vincent (2011). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010. McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-7864-6477-7. P. 200.
  4. ^ a b c Erickson, Hal (1989). Syndicated Television: The First Forty Years, 1947-1987. McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 0-7864-1198-8. P. 56.
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Frank Jenks
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