Leonard Frey (1938 - 1988)

A photo of Leonard Frey
Leonard Frey
1938 - 1988
September 4, 1938
New York, New York County, New York United States
August 28, 1988
Beth Israel Hospital in New York, New York County, New York United States
Last Known Residence
New York, New York County, New York 10122
Leonard Frey was born on September 4, 1938 in New York, New York United States. He had sibling Charles. He died on August 28, 1988 at Beth Israel Hospital, New York, New York United States at 49 years of age.
Updated: April 18, 2020
Leonard Frey originally wanted to be a painter but in college he became interested in acting. He gained fame in the theater for his role of Harold in "Boys In The Band" in 1968. He reprised his role in the William Friendkin film in 1970. He was nominated for a Tony Award for "The National Health". He was nominated for an Academy Award for his role as Motel in the Norman Jewison film, " Fiddler on the Roof". He appeared in a variety of films and television, including the 1983 series, "Mr. Smith" on NBC.
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New York, New York County, New York 10122
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Leonard Frey died on at Beth Israel Hospital in New York, New York County, New York United States
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James Madison High Cooper Union Neighborhood Playhouse School of Theater




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New York Times, Aug. 25, 1988 Los Angeles Times, Aug. 25, 1988 AP News Aug. 24, 1988

Refresh this page to see various historical events that occurred during Leonard's lifetime.

In 1938, in the year that Leonard Frey was born, on October 30th, a Sunday, The Mercury Theatre on the Air broadcast Orson Welles' special Halloween show The War of the World's. A clever take on H.G. Wells' novel, the show began with simulated "breaking news" of an invasion by Martians. Because of the realistic nature of the "news," there was a public outcry the next day, calling for regulation by the FCC. Although the current story is that many were fooled and panicked, in reality very few people were fooled. But the show made Orson Welles' career.

In 1940, he was only 2 years old when on November 5th, President Franklin Roosevelt was elected to a third term, defeating Wendell Willkie of Indiana (a corporate lawyer). Roosevelt running for a third term was controversial. But the U.S. was emerging from the Great Recession and he promised that he would not involve the country in any foreign war (which of course changed when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor). Roosevelt defeated Willkie in the popular vote by 54.7 to 44.8% and in the Electoral College 449 to 82.

In 1956, when he was 18 years old, on May 20th, the U.S. tested the first hydrogen bomb dropped from a plane over Bikini Atoll. Previously, hydrogen bombs had only been tested on the ground. The Atomic Age moved forward.

In 1961, by the time he was 23 years old, on August 13th, East Germany began erection of what would become the Berlin Wall between East and West Berlin. In one day, they installed barbed wire entanglements and fences (called Barbed Wire Sunday in Germany). On August 17th, the first concrete elements and large blocks were put in place.

In 1988, in the year of Leonard Frey's passing, on December 21st, Pan Am Flight 103 exploded over Lockerbie Scotland. The explosion killed all 259 people on board and another 11 on the ground. The flight had left Heathrow Airport in London less than an hour before, on its way to New York. After an exhaustive (and long) investigation it came to be believed that two individuals from Libya had planted the bomb.

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