Paul Frank, a entertainment executive who worked on both the creative and business sides of the industry for 30 years, died unexpectedly of a suspected heart attack on September 30 in his home in Los Angeles. He was 53.
Frank started his career as an agent trainee at the Triad agency and became an agent at the William Morris Agency following its acquisition of Triad. He transitioned to the executive ranks with a job as a scripted programming executive at Columbia/TriStar and then went on to head the television department at The Firm and its successor Prospect Park.
At The Firm, he executive produced the Emmy-nominated CBS miniseries Comanche Moon, from Oscar & Pulitzer prize winning author Larry McMurtry. The six-hour television event, a prequel to the hugely popular Lonesome Dove mini, starred Val Kilmer, Elizabeth Banks, Karl Urban and Steve Zahn.
At Prospect Park, he developed and executive produced Royal Pains, which became one of USA Network’s longest running series, and offbeat FX comedy series Wilfred, starring Elijah Wood. Frank executive produced both with his father, former President of Walt Disney Studios, Rich Frank. Most recently, Frank served as EVP and head of series development for the BabyFirst TV channel which is the leading provider of kids educational programming, spanning the baby and toddler years.
Born in New York but raised in Los Angeles, Frank was a graduate of Northwestern University. A loving and devoted father, son, brother and friend, Frank is survived by his father Rich; mother Connie; brother Darryl, co-president of Amblin Television; and two sons Lewis and Benjamin. Frank lived in the Los Angeles area and was engaged to be married to his fiancé Tara.