April 17, 1947
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Charles Frank may have gotten his first big break as a lovelorn doctor on the long-running daytime serial "All My Children," but it's his role as hotshot Ben Maverick on the '70s TV series "Young Maverick" for which the successful character actor is best remembered. The show, and the accompanying TV movie "The New Maverick," were an attempt to revive the successful '50s western of the same name, but the show was canceled after just eight episodes. After numerous TV guest roles on shows like "Filthy Rich," whose comically squabbling families spoofed the many prime-time soaps of the time, Frank landed a major role as United States test pilot and astronaut Scott Carpenter in the 1983 adaptation of Tom Wolfe's novel "The Right Stuff," about the incredible mental, emotional, and physical stresses placed upon the seven test pilots who were selected for the first manned spaceflight in American history. He next appeared as a naval lawyer in the military-themed soap opera "Emerald Point N.A.S" and portrayed a crooked senator on "Falcon Crest," which followed the conflicts within a powerful southern California family. In 1991, he reunited with "Filthy Rich" co-star Dixie Carter on her hit series "Designing Women," of which he also directed several episodes; in addition to his work on the show, Frank also directed several episodes of the sitcom "Evening Shade," which starred Burt Reynolds as a retired professional football player.