Frank Morgan

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Frank Morgan (June 1, 1890 – September 18, 1949) was an American actor.[1] He was best known for his portrayal of the title character in the film The Wizard of Oz.

Contents

Early life

Born as Francis Phillip Wuppermann in New York City, the youngest of eleven children (six boys and five girls), to the wealthy family that distributed Angostura bitters, he attended Cornell University where he joined Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity.[2] He then followed his older brother Ralph Morgan into show business, first on the Broadway stage and then into motion pictures.

Acting career

His first film was The Suspect in 1916. In 1917 he provided support to his friend John Barrymore in Raffles The Amateur Cracksman, an independent film produced in and about New York City. Morgan's career expanded when talkies began, his most stereotypical role being that of a befuddled but good-hearted middle-aged man. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1934's The Affairs of Cellini, where he played the cuckolded Duke of Florence and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1942's Tortilla Flat, where he played a simple Hispanic man.

Other movies of note include The Great Ziegfeld, The Shop Around the Corner, The Human Comedy, The Mortal Storm, The White Cliffs of Dover and his last movie, Key to the City, which was released after his death, in Beverly Hills, California.

He also recorded a number of children's records, including the popular Gossamer Wump, released in 1949 by Capitol Records.

Like most character actors of the studio era, Frank Morgan had numerous roles in many motion pictures. One of his last roles was as a key supporting player in The Stratton Story, a true story about a ballplayer (played by James Stewart) who makes a comeback after losing a leg in a hunting accident.

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