Monday, June 11, 2012

R.I.P. Frank Cady, aka Sam Drucker

Every now and then I think to myself that I'm gonna stop writing celebrity obits on my blog; for one thing by the time I get around to it everyone from CNN.com all the way down to the Stammerville Weekly Shopper has already covered it, plus it's kind of morbid. But then someone whose life actually meant something to me dies, and I think, "OK, one more time."

This time it's actor Frank Cady. The name might not be familiar, but his face certainly will be if you watched any TV at all in the 1960s and 1970s. Cady died June 8, 2012 in his Wilsonville, Oregon home. He was 96. His daughter didn't mention a cause of death, but it couldn't be too awfully hard to figure out. The man was nearing 100.

My first reaction upon hearing the news of his death: Sadness or course, followed by open mouthed surprise. I honest to god didn't realize he was still alive.

Cady's most famous role was of course that of Sam Drucker, owner and proprietor of Drucker's General Store on Petticoat Junction and Green Acres. Sam Drucker was a regular on both series, and even made a few appearances on The Beverly Hillbillies.

All three series had a shared continuity and existed within the same world, one that I always called the "Hooterverse," named of course after the fictional town in which Petticoat Junction and Green Acres took place.

That makes Frank Cady one of the only actors I know who regularly played the same character in three different shows. The only other actor I can think of that comes close is Richard Anderson, who played Oscar Goldman simultaneously in The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman.*

Cady guest starred on many other TV shows prior to his Hooterverse role, including The Andy Griffith Show and many, many Western TV series. He was also in several of my all time favorite movies, including The 7 Faces of Doctor Lao and When Worlds Collide. After seeing his earnest and over-enunciated performance as Sam Drucker my whole life, it was a bit jarring to see him in anything else, especially as a villain in When Worlds Collide.

* It's entirely possible that an actor has played the same character in several of the various Law and Order series, but I've never watched a single episode of any of those, so I can't say.

4 comments:

  1. Richard Belzer has played detective John Munch in 10 different shows - the various Law and Order series, the X-files, Arrested Development, and etc.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Well there you go then. As I said parenthetically, I've never watched any of the Law & Orders, so I wasn't sure. I do seem to vaguely remember him being on X-Files though. I guess that means X-Files is in the Law & Order universe?

    Maybe Frank Cady was the first to do the multiple shows deal?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Also Jeff-- was Belzer on all these shows every week, or did he just make one time guest appearances? Frank Cady played Sam Drucker on two different series at the same time.

    ReplyDelete
  4. You are correct... they were guest spots mostly

    Still - he crossed not only shows, but genres. He played Munch in dramas, sci-fi, comedies, and even an animated show - the Simpsons.

    ReplyDelete

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