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Frank Perry

Frank Perry

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Also Known As: Died: August 29, 1995
Born: August 21, 1930 Cause of Death: prostate cancer
Birth Place: New York City, New York, USA Profession: director, screenwriter, producer, production assistant, stage manager, parking attendant

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Perry established himself as a TV documentary producer before making an acclaimed feature directorial debut with "David and Lisa" (1962), written by his wife Eleanor. A sensitive, finely acted portrait of two mentally disturbed teenagers, the black-and-white film was shot on a minimal budget and possessed a distinctly independent tone. Perry and his wife collaborated on several more offbeat and savvy studies of social mores, notably their adaptation of the John Cheever short story, "The Swimmer" (1968; direction completed by Sydney Pollack) and "Diary of a Mad Housewife" (1970). Perry's work, always earnest if rather obvious, suffered somewhat following his divorce in 1970 but he returned to form with the spoof western, "Rancho Deluxe" (1976), scripted by novelist Thomas McGuane. He scored another popular success with the suburban satire "Compromising Positions" (1985).Perry's work in fiction TV was infrequent but memorable. He produced and directed "A Christmas Memory" (ABC, 1966), a superior TV-movie adapted from Truman Capote's Southern childhood memoir of a holiday spent with his eccentric aunt Sookie. Still aired periodically, the telefilm has become something of a classic. Two years later,...

Perry established himself as a TV documentary producer before making an acclaimed feature directorial debut with "David and Lisa" (1962), written by his wife Eleanor. A sensitive, finely acted portrait of two mentally disturbed teenagers, the black-and-white film was shot on a minimal budget and possessed a distinctly independent tone. Perry and his wife collaborated on several more offbeat and savvy studies of social mores, notably their adaptation of the John Cheever short story, "The Swimmer" (1968; direction completed by Sydney Pollack) and "Diary of a Mad Housewife" (1970). Perry's work, always earnest if rather obvious, suffered somewhat following his divorce in 1970 but he returned to form with the spoof western, "Rancho Deluxe" (1976), scripted by novelist Thomas McGuane. He scored another popular success with the suburban satire "Compromising Positions" (1985).

Perry's work in fiction TV was infrequent but memorable. He produced and directed "A Christmas Memory" (ABC, 1966), a superior TV-movie adapted from Truman Capote's Southern childhood memoir of a holiday spent with his eccentric aunt Sookie. Still aired periodically, the telefilm has become something of a classic. Two years later, Perry returned to Capote country for "Thanksgiving Visitor" (ABC, 1968). After a long hiatus from the medium, he helmed "Dummy" (CBS, 1979), a powerful crime docudrama starring LeVar Burton as an illiterate deaf-mute accused of murder and Paul Sorvino as his deaf court-appointed attorney. Perry also directed Abby Mann's teleplay for "Skag" (NBC, 1980), a memorable TV-movie cum successful pilot starring Karl Malden as a feisty aging steel worker battling back from a stroke.

In 1990, Perry was diagnosed with inoperable prostate cancer. As part of his battle against the disease, he produced, directed and starred in "On the Bridge" (1993), a filmed journal that explored the various methods of treatments he underwent and also included interviews with cancer patients and oncologists. Perry believed that by working on the film, he had prolonged his life.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  On the Bridge (1992) Director
2.
  Hello Again (1987) Director
3.
  Compromising Positions (1985) Director
4.
  Monsignor (1982) Director
5.
  Mommie Dearest (1981) Director
6.
  Skag (1980) Director
7.
  Dummy (1979) Director
8.
  Rancho Deluxe (1975) Director
9.
  Man on a Swing (1974) Director
10.
  Play It As It Lays (1972) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 On the Bridge (1992) Himself
2.
 Neptune Factor, The (1973) Submarine Captain
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Milestones close milestones

:
Served as an apprentice at the Westport Country Playhouse in Connecticut
:
Worked in the theater for nine years as a stage manager, production manager and managing director
1952:
Served in the US Army during the Korean War
1955:
Was a director-observer at the Actors Studio
:
Produced plays for the Theater Guild
:
Entered film as a production assistant
:
Co-produced TV documentary series, "Playwright at Work"
1962:
Directed first feature film, "David and Lisa"
1963:
Produced first feature film, "Ladybug, Ladybug" (also director)
1977:
Debut as Broadway director, "Ladies of the Alamo"
1981:
Co-wrote first screenplay, "Mommie Dearest"
1989:
Formed Corsair Pictures
1990:
Diagnosed with inoperable prostate cancer
1993:
Produced, directed, and starred in "On the Bridge", a documentary journal of his fight against cancer
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

University of Miami: Miami , Florida -

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Eleanor Perry. Screenwriter. Separated 1970; divorced 1971; born 1933; died of cancer in 1981.
wife:
Barbara Goldsmith. Journalist, author. Married 1977; separated 1992; divorced 1992; wrote "Little Gloria...Happy at Last" and "Johnson v. Johnson".
companion:
Virginia Ford. Ski instructor. Married June 1992; born circa 1952; 22 years Perry's junior; met in Aspen in early 1992; survived him.

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