February 13, 1930
Wellesley, Massachusetts, United States
January 2, 2018
A Swiss Army Knife of creativity, Frank Buxton had a career as a writer, director, actor, and producer that has been a melting pot for his unique sensibility. His effortless charisma won him hosting duties early in his career, first on the documentary anthology series "Discovery," then on the game show "Get the Message." Even robbing his audience of his physical presence, he impressed in scores of animated shorts as the voice behind the anthropomorphic crime fighter "Batfink," developed by cartoon maestro Hal Seeger. With a wide vocal range, Buxton also provided aural aid to Woody Allen for his experimental debut film, "What's Up, Tiger Lily?," an exercise in overdubbed cinema that Buxton co-wrote with the legendary director. Perhaps inspired by their working relationship, Buxton soon mounted a directorial career of his own. He oversaw nine episodes of the classic TV sitcom "The Odd Couple" in addition to his prior role as writer on the series. Throwback comedy "Happy Days" was his next endeavor; he wrote three episodes and directed three more. After lending his expertise to series spinoff "Mork & Mindy," Buxton returned to acting. He appeared as Wilbur Budd , a supporting role in the 1987 Kurt Russell/Goldie Hawn romantic comedy "Overboard," and as a doctor in the Oscar-nominated Bette Midler film, "Beaches."