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Frank Morgan

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Frank Morgan

Frank Morgan
Born Francis Phillip Wuppermann
(1890-06-01)June 1, 1890
New York City, New York, U.S.
Died September 18, 1949(1949-09-18) (aged 59)
Beverly Hills, California, U.S.
Cause of death Heart attack
Resting place Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, New York
Alma mater Cornell University
Occupation Actor
Years active 1914–1949
Spouse(s) Alma Muller (m. 1914–49) (his death)
Children George Morgan (1916–2003)

Francis Phillip Wuppermann (June 1, 1890 – September 18, 1949), known by his stage name of Frank Morgan, was an American character actor.[1] He is best known as a Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer contract player, and as the title character in The Wizard of Oz (1939).


  • Early life 1
  • Career 2
  • Personal life and death 3
  • Filmography 4
  • Radio appearances 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Early life

Morgan was born Francis Phillip Wuppermann in New York City, the youngest of eleven children (six boys and five girls) born to Josephine Wright (née Hancox) and George Diogracia Wuppermann. His father was born in Venezuela, of German and Spanish descent, and was raised in Hamburg, Germany.[2][3][4] His mother was born in the U.S. of English descent. The family earned its wealth distributing Broadway stage and then into motion pictures.


Morgan and Madge Kennedy in Baby Mine (1917)

His first film was The Suspect in 1916. In 1917, he provided support to his friend The Great Morgan was written with the story centering around Frank Morgan.

In the 1940s, Morgan co-starred with Gossamer Wump, released in 1949 by Capitol Records.

Like most character actors of the studio era, Morgan was sought out for numerous motion picture roles. One of his last roles was as Barney Wile in The Stratton Story (1949), a true story about a ballplayer (played by James Stewart) who makes a comeback after having his leg amputated due to a hunting accident.

His last film Clark Gable and Loretta Young. He was nominated twice for an Academy Award: for Best Actor for his role as the cuckolded Duke of Florence in The Affairs of Cellini (1934), and for Best Supporting Actor for Tortilla Flat (1942), in which he played a simple Hispanic man who takes care of dogs.

Personal life and death

Morgan as The Gatekeeper at the entrance to the Emerald City

Morgan married Alma Muller (1895–1970) in 1914; they had one son. Their marriage ended with his death in 1949. He was widely known to have had a Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None.

Morgan was also a brother of playwright Carlos Wupperman, who was killed in the Helen Menken, and in his first Broadway outing,[8] character actor Robert Keith, father of actor Brian Keith and one-time husband of Theater Guild actress Peg Entwistle, who committed suicide by jumping from the Hollywood Sign in 1932.

Morgan died of a heart attack on September 18, 1949, while filming Annie Get Your Gun (replaced by Louis Calhern). His death came before the 1956 premiere televised broadcast on CBS[9] of The Wizard of Oz, would make him the only major cast member from the film who would not live to see the film's revived popularity and become in the 1960s an annual holiday American television institution.[9] He is buried in Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn. His tombstone carries his real name, Wuppermann, as well as his stage name, Frank Morgan. He has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for motion pictures at 1708 Vine Street and for radio at 6700 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.


Radio appearances

Year Program Episode/source
1940 Screen Guild Players The Shop Around the Corner[10]


  1. ^ Obituary Variety, September 21, 1949, page 63.
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ Grand Catalogue of the Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity - Twelfth Edition, p.377: Bernard C. Harris Publishing Company, 1985.
  6. ^
  7. ^ Theater Review by Alexander Woollcot New York Times, August 25, 1921.
  8. ^
  9. ^ a b April 6, 2009The Daily Journal.comDoug Fuhrmann, "Pop Culture History: Wizard of Oz televised (1950s), . Accessed 24 August, 2014.
  10. ^

External links

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