Frank Cady was a character actor. Check out his career on IMDB and he’s got quite an impressive collection of roles, but none as memorable or as beloved as Sam Drucker, the grocery store clerk.
Frank played that role in three different shows–“Petticoat Junction”, “Green Acres” and “The Beverly Hillbillies.” I had the good fortune of meeting him back in the 90s, when he came here to play in the Richard Karn Celebrity Golf Tournament. It was the first year of the event and KLSY was chosen to be the official radio station, which meant we got to hang out at the tournament and chat with the celebrities. Frank saw this more as a chance to play golf in a nice place than to show off his celebrity. That same year, a young, up and coming Samuel L. Jackson was also on the course. I didn’t ask to have a picture taken with him, because I had never heard of him. But Frank? Now there’s someone my folks and sisters had heard about!
Frank’s last time in front of the cameras was apparently back in 1990 for a “Green Acres Reunion” movie. Apparently, he and his wife lived out their years together in Wilsonville, Oregon and he made it all the way until age 96, until he passed away last week. All I can tell you is that the man I met on the golf course was one of the most humble actors I’ve ever encountered out of Hollywood. I guess it’s a call you make somewhere along the line–do you want to be remembered as an entity? An actor? A commodity? Or, do you just want to act and enjoy the ride? Frank chose the latter and lived a long life doing it.
Thanks for being one of the good guys, Mr. Drucker. Our paths only crossed once, but the impression has lasted a lifetime.