Biography

​From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  

Frank Silvera (July 24, 1914 – June 11, 1970) was an American actor and theatrical director.

Silvera was born in Kingston, Jamaica the son of a mixed race Jamaican mother, Gertrude Bell and Spanish Jewish father, Alfred Silvera. His family emigrated to the United States when he was six-years old, settling in Boston. Silvera became interested in acting and began performing in amateur theatrical groups and at church. He graduated from English High School of Boston and then studied at Boston University, followed by the Northeastern Law School.

Silvera left Northeastern Law School in 1934, when he was cast in Paul Green's production of Roll Sweet Chariot. He next joined the New England Repertory Theatre where he appeared in productions of MacBeth, Othello and The Emperor Jones. He also worked at Federal Theatre and with the New Hampshire Repertory Theatre. In 1940, Silvera made his Broadway debut in a small role in Big White Fog. His career was interrupted in 1942, when he enlisted in the United States Navy during World War II. He was assigned to Camp Robert Smalls, where he and Owen Dodson were in charge of entertainment. Silvera directed and acted in radio programs and appeared in USO shows. Honorably discharged at the war's end in 1945, he joined the cast of Anna Lucasta and became a member of the Actors Studio.

In 1952, Silvera made his film debut in the western, The Cimarron Kid. Because of his strongly Latin appearance, he was cast in a variety of ethnic roles in films and television. He was cast as General Huerta in Viva Zapata! which starred Marlon Brando. Silvera also portrayed the role in the stage production, which opened at the Regent Theatre in New York City on February 28, 1952. He appeared in two films directed by Stanley Kubrick, Fear and Desire (1953) and Killer's Kiss (1955).

Silvera made guest appearances in numerous television series, mainly dramas and westerns, including Studio One in Hollywood, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Bat Masterson, Thriller, Riverboat, The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters, The Untouchables, and Bonanza. In 1962 he portrayed Dr. Koslenko in The Twilight Zone episode "Person or Persons Unknown", opposite Richard Long. That year, he also played Minarii, a Polynesian man in the 1962 film Mutiny on the Bounty, again starring Marlon Brando. In 1963, Silvera was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play for playing Monsieur Duval in The Lady of the Camellias.

In 1964, Silvera and Vantile Whitfield founded the Theatre of Being, a Los Angeles-based theatre dedicated to providing black actors with non-stereotypical roles. One of their first projects was producing The Amen Corner by African-American writer James Baldwin. Silvera and Whitfield financed the play themselves and with donations from friends. It opened on March 4, 1964 and would gross $200,000 within the year, moving to Broadway in April 1965. Beah Richards won critical acclaim for her performance as the lead.

Silvera was killed on June 11, 1970, after accidentally electrocuting himself while repairing a garbage disposal unit in his kitchen sink.

Description above from the Wikipedia article Frank Silvera, licensed under CC-BY-SA, full list of contributors on Wikipedia.

​From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  

Frank Silvera (July 24, 1914 – June 11, 1970) was an American actor and theatrical director.

Silvera was born in Kingston, Jamaica the son of a mixed race Jamaican mother, Gertrude Bell and Spanish Jewish father, Alfred Silvera. His family emigrated to the United States when he was six-years old, settling in Boston. Silvera became interested in acting and began performing in amateur theatrical groups and at church. He graduated from English High School of Boston and then studied at Boston University, followed by the Northeastern Law School.

Silvera left Northeastern Law School in 1934, when he was cast in Paul Green's production of Roll Sweet Chariot. He next joined the New England Repertory Theatre where he appeared in productions of MacBeth, Othello and The Emperor Jones. He also worked at Federal Theatre and with the New Hampshire Repertory Theatre. In 1940, Silvera made his Broadway debut in a small role in Big White Fog. His career was interrupted in 1942, when he enlisted in the United States Navy during World War II. He was assigned to Camp Robert Smalls, where he and Owen Dodson were in charge of entertainment. Silvera directed and acted in radio programs and appeared in USO shows. Honorably discharged at the war's end in 1945, he joined the cast of Anna Lucasta and became a member of the Actors Studio.

In 1952, Silvera made his film debut in the western, The Cimarron Kid. Because of his strongly Latin appearance, he was cast in a variety of ethnic roles in films and television. He was cast as General Huerta in Viva Zapata! which starred Marlon Brando. Silvera also portrayed the role in the stage production, which opened at the Regent Theatre in New York City on February 28, 1952. He appeared in two films directed by Stanley Kubrick, Fear and Desire (1953) and Killer's Kiss (1955).

Silvera made guest appearances in numerous television series, mainly dramas and westerns, including Studio One in Hollywood, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Bat Masterson, Thriller, Riverboat, The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters, The Untouchables, and Bonanza. In 1962 he portrayed Dr. Koslenko in The Twilight Zone episode "Person or Persons Unknown", opposite Richard Long. That year, he also played Minarii, a Polynesian man in the 1962 film Mutiny on the Bounty, again starring Marlon Brando. In 1963, Silvera was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play for playing Monsieur Duval in The Lady of the Camellias.

In 1964, Silvera and Vantile Whitfield founded the Theatre of Being, a Los Angeles-based theatre dedicated to providing black actors with non-stereotypical roles. One of their first projects was producing The Amen Corner by African-American writer James Baldwin. Silvera and Whitfield financed the play themselves and with donations from friends. It opened on March 4, 1964 and would gross $200,000 within the year, moving to Broadway in April 1965. Beah Richards won critical acclaim for her performance as the lead.

Silvera was killed on June 11, 1970, after accidentally electrocuting himself while repairing a garbage disposal unit in his kitchen sink.

Description above from the Wikipedia article Frank Silvera, licensed under CC-BY-SA, full list of contributors on Wikipedia.

Personal Info

Known For Acting

Gender Male

Known Credits 52

Birthday 1914-07-24

Day of Death 1970-06-11

Place of Birth Kingston, British West Indies [now Kingston, Jamaica]

Official Site -

Also Known As

  • -

Acting TV ShowsMovies

2003 Beah: A Black Woman Speaks as Himself
1976 Perilous Voyage as Gen. Salazar
1971 Valdez Is Coming as Diego
1969 Marcus Welby, M.D. (1 episode)
1969 Guns of the Magnificent Seven as Lobero
1969 Che! as Goatherd
1968 Uptight as Kyle
1968 Hawaii Five-O (1 episode)
1967 The High Chaparral (1 episode)
1967 The St. Valentine's Day Massacre as Nick Sorello
1966 The Appaloosa as Ramos
1966 The Rat Patrol (1 episode)
1965 I Spy (1 episode) as Munoz
1965 Run for Your Life (1 episode)
1965 The Greatest Story Ever Told as Caspar
1964 Profiles in Courage (1 episode)
1964 Daniel Boone (1 episode)
1963 Kraft Suspense Theatre (2 episodes)
1963 The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters (1 episode)
1963 The Great Adventure (1 episode)
1963 Mr. Novak (1 episode)
1963 Toys in the Attic as Henry Simpson
1962 The Beachcomber (2 episodes)
1961 The New Breed (1 episode)
1960 Key Witness as Det. Rafael Torno
1960 Thriller (1 episode)
1960 The Mountain Road as Col. Kwan
1960 Heller in Pink Tights as Santis
1959 Crime and Punishment USA as Lt. Porter
1959 The Rebel (1 episode)
1959 The Twilight Zone (1 episode)
1959 Johnny Ringo (1 episode)
1959 Riverboat (1 episode)
1959 Rawhide (1 episode)
1958 Bat Masterson (1 episode)
1958 Wanted: Dead or Alive (1 episode)
1957 Decoy (1 episode)
1957 Perry Mason (1 episode)
1956 Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater (1 episode)
1956 Crowded Paradise as Papa Diaz
1955 Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1 episode)
1955 Killer's Kiss as Vincent Rapallo
1955 Gunsmoke (1 episode)
1955 Death Tide as Eric
1953 White Mane as Narrator (English)
1953 Fear and Desire as Mac
1952 The Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima as Council Administrator Arturo dos Santos
1952 The Fighter as Paulino
1952 Viva Zapata! as Huerta
1952 The Cimarron Kid as Stacey Marshall
1949 Bezoek aan Picasso as Commentator
1948 Studio One (1 episode)

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