American actor FRANKIE THOMAS died in a Los Angeles hospital last Thursday (11MAY06) of respiratory failure. He was 85. Thomas cut his acting teeth on the Broadway, New York City, stage in the 1930s before making the move to Hollywood. He starred in a number of films including A Dog of Flanders and THE MAJOR AND THE MINOR, but he is best known for his lead role in 1950s US TV series TOM CORBETT, SPACE CADET. His co-star JAN MERLIN says, "Frankie looked like the all-American boy. "Everyone in the room knew immediately this was the guy we were going to get." Thomas turned his back on acting when the show closed in 1955 and pursued a career as a TV, radio and novel writer. He was buried yesterday (16MAY06) dressed in his space cadet costume.
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