Frank Morgan (Who’s Who at MGM, 1937) 🇺🇸
Born in New York City on June 1, a member of the Wupperman family of Angostura Bitters fame, Frank Morgan was known as one of the best boy sopranos in the city, singing at St. Thomas and All Angels churches. After attending public and private schools, he went to Cornell University, but abandoned his studies after several years to embark upon a business career.
He started out as a brush salesman, tried his hand as an advertising man on the old Boston Traveller, sold real estate, and went West to be a cowpuncher before deciding to follow in his brother Ralph’s footsteps on the stage.
Paid by Washing Dishes
After Frank had decided cow-punching was a little too strenuous for him, he rode a freight train to New Orleans and spent his last few dollars on clean clothes and a bath. Then he went into the best hotel and ordered a table. When the dessert arrived he lost his nerve and called the waiter and confessed he had no money. He washed dishes until seven in the morning and was given breakfast in the kitchen.
He changed his name to Morgan when he made his debut in a vaudeville skit. He appeared on Broadway in Mr. Wu, The Man Who Came Back, Seventh Heaven, My Lady Friends, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Among the Married, Topaze, The Firebrand, and the musical comedies and revues, Band Wagon, Ziegfeld’s Rosalie, and Rockabye.
“Philippa” His First
Morgan first appeared on the screen in the silent days in “The Girl Philippa” and “Laughter.” Since the introduction of sound films he has made “Secrets of the French Police,” “The Half Naked Truth,” Kiss Before the Mirror, “Luxury Liner,” “Billion Dollar Scandal,” Reunion in Vienna, “Made on Broadway,” “When Ladies Meet,” “Broadway to Hollywood,” “The Nuisance,” “The Cat and the Fiddle,” “Success at Any Price,” The Affairs of Cellini, “Blonde Bombshell,” “Best of Enemies,” “By Your Leave,” Naughty Marietta, “I Live My Life,” “Escapade,” “The Perfect Gentleman,” “Trouble for Two,” The Great Ziegfeld, “Piccadilly Jim,” The Last of Mrs. Cheyney, The Emperor’s Candlesticks, Saratoga, and Rosalie.
Humor is Spontaneous
Frank is six feet tall, weighs 180 pounds and has light brown hair and light brown-gray eyes. He is an ardent baseball fan and his favorite sports are tennis, golf and swimming.
Frank is the absent-minded professor of the screen. His appearance in a picture means its comedy success. His humor is spontaneous, for he doesn’t depend upon dialogue. He can make any line funny, even a tragic one.
He is considered one of the best hosts in Hollywood. He wears conservative clothes and hates to shave himself. He is happily married and allows his wife to read his fan mail. He seldom looks at a newspaper and never carries a watch.
Frank still has a fine tenor voice with which he entertains his friends occasionally. He is well known for his famous thumbnail descriptions of movie stars. A serious looking man, he hates to talk seriously. He believes that actors themselves are uninteresting and should be viewed only from the point of their characterizations.
Frank’s greatest ambition is to appear in a picture with his brother Ralph. During all their years on stage and screen the brothers never have been co-featured.
“Apparently, producers think one Morgan is enough,” Frank says.
The brothers are ardent chess players.
Collection: Who’s Who at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (1937)