It is just being reported today that Frank McRae died on April 29th, from a heart attack. Mr. McRae was 77.
Frank McRae was a gifted athlete who played college football at the University of Tennessee and upon graduation went into the NFL where he was a Defensive Tackle for the Chicago Bears. When his playing days were over, McRae’s focus turned to acting.
Frank McRae’s career spanned 34 years with over 60 acting credits on his resume. Mr. McRae held his on own screen with many of the greats: Charles Bronson, James Garner, Sally Field, Kurt Russell, Nick Nolte, Peter Falk and Arnold Schwarzenegger to name just a few. Stanley Kramer, Steven Spielberg, John Milius, Robert Zemeckis and John McTiernan were some of the directors who wanted Frank McRae in their films. Frank McRae appeared in four films starring Sylvester Stallone: FIST, Paradise Alley, Lock Up and Rocky II. Mr. McRae’s best known role may be Sharkey, James Bond’s friend, in Licence to Kill.
I was (and remain) a huge fan of Frank McRae. He made every film he was in at least a little bit better. My favorite Frank McRae role was when he played Big Glory in Paradise Alley. Big Glory was a professional wrestler whose better days were long past. It’s a funny, yet sad supporting role that Frank McRae completely owned. Another memorable role was his brief but impactful part in Red Dawn… and Lock Up… and well, you get the idea.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Frank McRae’s family, friends and fans.