Frank Aletter (Frank Aletter)

Frank Aletter

Frank Aletter (January 14, 1926 – May 13, 2009) was an American stage, film, and television actor.  During the 1950s, Aletter appeared on Broadway in Bells Are Ringing, Time Limit, and Wish You Were Here.  He soon moved on to a prolific television career, appearing as a guest on numerous shows between 1956 and 1988. Aletter starred in three programs in the 1960s, beginning with Bringing Up Buddy, a CBS sitcom during the 1960–1961 season, featuring Aletter with Enid Markey and Doro Merande, who portrayed his overprotective spinster aunts to Aletter’s character, Buddy Flower, a bachelor stockbroker. Aletter’s first wife, Lee Meriwether, a former Miss America, guest-starred once on Bringing Up Buddy. After Bringing Up Buddy, Aletter guest starred in the ABC crime drama, Target: The Corruptors, the CBS anthology series, The Lloyd Bridges Show, and NBC’s medical drama The Eleventh Hour. He portrayed murderer Harry Collins on the 1963 Perry Mason episode, “The Case of the Skeleton’s Closet.” In 1964, he played murder victim, television news reporter, Tommy Towne, in “The Case of the Arrogant Arsonist.” In the 1964–1965 season, Aletter appeared in The Cara Williams Show, with Cara Williams as his television wife. The two worked at the same company in violation of policy that employees could not marry each other and maintain their employment for that company. The show hence focused on how the couple kept the marriage secret.  In the 1965–1966 season he guest-starred in two episodes of the ABC war drama, Twelve O’Clock High, once as Lt. Col Bill Christy and also as a sergeant in public relations.  Aletter had another regular role in It’s About Time, a Sherwood Schwartz series on CBS in 1966–1967.

He played Professor Irwin Hayden in the Richard Donner-directed, 36-part, live-action cliffhanger serial, Danger Island, on The Banana Splits Adventure Hour which aired on Saturday mornings on NBC from 1968 to 1970. In the fall of 1970, he had a supporting role in the NBC sitcom, Nancy.  His movie roles include Mister Roberts, Tora! Tora! Tora!, and Disney’s A Tiger Walks.  Aletter worked with the Screen Actors Guild, having been elected as a vice president in 1987. Aletter also played “George Snyder” on the 1970s sitcom, “Maude” (which starred Bea Arthur), in the episode called Love And Marriage (Season 1, Episode 7).  Aletter played “Harry,” a polygamist with four wives whom Blanche is engaged to, in the pilot episode of The Golden Girls. He died eighteen days after the death of Golden Girls star, Bea Arthur, which was exactly on Bea Arthur’s birthday. He was married to Lee Meriwether, former Miss America, from 1958 to 1974. They had two daughters: actresses, Kyle Aletter-Oldham and Lesley Aletter. He married his second wife, Estella, former Miss Hurricane Hunter, in 1984; he had two stepdaughters, Julia and Alexandria Hodes.

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  • January, 14, 1926
  • USA
  • New York, New York


  • May, 13, 2009
  • USA
  • Los Angeles, California

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