Franklin E. Cover

Franklin E. Cover, 1951

B.A., Denison University
M.A., Case Western Reserve University
M.F.A., Case Western Reserve University

Citation awarded June, 1986

Frank Cover’s varied and rich career in theatre, both on and off Broadway, motion pictures, and television has delighted, informed, and entertained many, many audiences.

Following graduation from Denison in 1951, Frank served in the Air Force, returning to Case Western University where he received his master’s degree in dramatic arts in 1954 and master’s in fine arts in 1955.

Early in his career, his role as Justice Silence in Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part II received high praise from New York critics in 1961 and President Kennedy invited him to perform MacBeth in the title role at the White House. His Broadway credits include Applause, Forty Carats, A Warm Body, The Investigation, Any Wednesday, and Calculated Risk. His motion pictures include The Stepford Wives, The Great Gatsby, Such Good Friends, Mirage, and What’s So Bad About Feeling Good. On television, he has guest starred in roles in All in the Family, The Connection, The Jackie Gleason Show, The Investigation, Naked City, The Defenders, and What Makes Sammy Run?, to name just a few. For the past 10 years, he has co-starred in the enormously successful TV comedy, The Jeffersons. As the first white actor in television’s first interracial marriage, his role was considered quite a daring milestone when the series began.

Frank has also served on the board of directors of the Screen Actors’ Guild and the Players’ Club and has found time to be a member of the vestry of the Church of the Resurrection in New York City.

By his many and varied contributions to the theatre arts, Frank Cover has enriched his audiences and honored Denison.