Frank Perry

Director, Producer, Screenwriter
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 ... Read more »
Born: 08/21/1930 in New York City, New York, USA

Filmography

Director (18)

On the Bridge 1993 (Movie)

(Director)

Hello, Again 1987 (Movie)

(Director)

Compromising Positions 1985 (Movie)

(Director)

Monsignor 1982 (Movie)

(Director)

Mommie Dearest 1981 (Movie)

(Director)

Dummy 1978 - 1979 (TV Show)

Director

Rancho Deluxe 1975 (Movie)

(Director)

Man on a Swing 1974 (Movie)

(Director)

Play It As It Lays 1972 (Movie)

(Director)

Doc 1971 (Movie)

(Director)

Diary of a Mad Housewife 1970 (Movie)

(Director)

Last Summer 1969 (Movie)

(Director)

Trilogy 1969 (Movie)

(Director)

The Swimmer 1968 (Movie)

(Director)

Ladybug, Ladybug 1963 (Movie)

(Director)

David and Lisa 1962 (Movie)

(Director)

A Christmas Memory (TV Show)

Director

Skag (TV Show)

Director
Producer (8)

On the Bridge 1993 (Movie)

(Producer)

Hello, Again 1987 (Movie)

(Producer)

Compromising Positions 1985 (Movie)

(Producer)

Play It As It Lays 1972 (Movie)

(Producer)

Doc 1971 (Movie)

(Producer)

Diary of a Mad Housewife 1970 (Movie)

(Producer)

Trilogy 1969 (Movie)

(Producer)

Ladybug, Ladybug 1963 (Movie)

(Producer)
Actor (4)

On the Bridge 1993 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

The Neptune Factor 1972 (Movie)

Submarine Captain (Actor)

My Side of the Mountain 1969 (Movie)

Mr Gribley (Actor)

Rio Rita (Movie)

Chef (Actor)

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 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.

Relationships

Virginia Ford

Companion
married June 1992 born circa 1952 22 years Perry's junior met in Aspen in early 1992 survived him

Barbara Goldsmith

Wife
married 1977 separated 1992 divorced 1992 wrote "Little Gloria...Happy at Last" and "Johnson v. Johnson"

Eleanor Perry

Wife
separated 1970 divorced 1971 born 1933 died of cancer in 1981

EDUCATION

University of Miami

Miami , Florida

Milestones

1993

Produced, directed, and starred in "On the Bridge", a documentary journal of his fight against cancer

1990

Diagnosed with inoperable prostate cancer

1989

Formed Corsair Pictures

1981

Co-wrote first screenplay, "Mommie Dearest"

1977

Debut as Broadway director, "Ladies of the Alamo"

1963

Produced first feature film, "Ladybug, Ladybug" (also director)

1962

Directed first feature film, "David and Lisa"

1955

Was a director-observer at the Actors Studio

1952

Served in the US Army during the Korean War

Produced plays for the Theater Guild

Entered film as a production assistant

Worked in the theater for nine years as a stage manager, production manager and managing director

Served as an apprentice at the Westport Country Playhouse in Connecticut

Co-produced TV documentary series, "Playwright at Work"

SIMILAR ARTICLES