Maxwell, Veteran Film, TV and Broadway Actor, Longtime Leader
of American Federation of Television and Radio Artists
During his long career in Hollywood, Mr.
Maxwell appeared in scores of motion pictures including Lonelyhearts,
By Love Possessed, Rage to Live, The Intruder, Madame X; four television
series; in a co-starring role as Dan Rooney in the popular daytime
TV series General Hospital and scores of other programs.
||August 5, 2004 - Frank
Maxwell, veteran motion picture, television and stage actor
for more than 60 years, and longtime union activist and past
President of the American Federation of Television and Radio
Artists, former First Vice President of Actors' Equity and
board member of the Screen Actors Guild, Trustee of the AFTRA
Health and Retirement Fund, died yesterday (Wednesday, August
4) at his home in Santa Monica, California at age 87. The
cause of death was complications of heart disease.
Born in New York
City, Mr. Maxwell made his Broadway debut shortly after graduating
from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Arts degree.
During World War II, he was a B-29 bombardier-navigator with the
U.S. Air Force and held the rank of First Lieutenant. After the
war, he returned to Broadway where he appeared in such hits as At
War With the Army, Death of a Salesman and Stalag 17. He
also appeared in the London production of Death
of a Salesman.
his professional life, Mr. Maxwell was an active and committed
member of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists,
serving as National President of the 80,000-member union of actors,
broadcasters and recording artists for five consecutive terms,
from 1984-89. He also served as President of the union's Los Angeles
Local for five years, and from 1985 until his death he was a Trustee
of the AFTRA Health & Retirement Funds and a member of AFTRA's
Board of Directors.
to his longtime affiliation with AFTRA (he held membership card
#39, issued in 1937), he also served on the National Board of its
predecessor organization, Television Authority.
AFTRA National President
John Connolly said, "For six decades and more, Frank Maxwell has
been a towering beacon of talent, leadership and principle in both
his formidable acting career and his unparalleled contribution
as a union leader to the welfare of professional performers worldwide.
as a dancer at the 1939 World's Fair, on to a stellar career on
Broadway and in radio drama, thence to the Golden Age of live TV,
feature films, and stardom in daytime and primetime series television,
Frank worked every nook and cranny of our wretched and glorious
business with verve and nerve."
"Frank fought facism in the belly
of a B-29 in WWII, McCarthyite blacklisting at the peril of his
television career in the 1950s, and racism on the front lines of
the civil rights struggle in the 1960s... He brought dignity, self-respect
and a sense of empowerment to the 80,000 members of AFTRA...," Mr.
"Frank Maxwell was a great leader," said AFTRA's
National Executive Director Greg Hessinger. "He worked tirelessly
to ensure that AFTRA embodied and honored diversity, democracy
and decency. He understood the unique creative process that is
integral to the lives of performers, while still resisting any
notion that they were inherently different from other workers in
their struggle to be treated with dignity and fairness. He gave
his formidable energy to AFTRA for decades, and all performers,
broadcasters and recording artists are the beneficiaries of that
sacrifice. His knowledge, his wisdom and his heart will be sorely
missed," Mr. Hessinger said.
Mr. Maxwell is survived
by a daughter, Chris Maxwell, of Los Angeles.Funeral services will
be held at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, August 10 at Saint
Monica's Cathedral (7th Street and California
Avenue, Santa Monica), with burial to follow at Holy
Cross Cemetery in Culver City.
Mr. Maxwell's memory may be made to the Frank Nelson Sick and Benefit
Fund, c/o the AFTRA Los Angeles office.
Rebecca Rhine: 415-391-7510
Dick Moore, Helaine Feldman: 212-719-9570
Dick Moore: 203-762-5643