( b. Nov 20, 1921 New York, New York, USA - d. Dec 16, 2011 New York, New York, USA ) Male
Dan Frazer, a character actor whose Hell’s Kitchen upbringing prepared him for a long run of roles as a blue-collar type or a cop, most notably as the beleaguered supervising officer Capt. Frank McNeil on “Kojak,” died at his home in Manhattan.
Mr. Frazer was steadily employed on television from the 1950s into the ’90s, in both dramas and sitcoms, including “The Phil Silvers Show,” “Car 54, Where Are You?,” “Route 66,” “The Untouchables,” “The F.B.I.,” “Barney Miller” and “Law & Order.”
He had roles in a half-dozen films, including “Lilies of the Field,” the 1963 drama for which Sidney Poitier won an Academy Award. Mr. Frazer played an itinerant priest alongside Mr. Poitier’s construction worker, who happens upon a farm run by nuns.
Mr. Frazer was also in two of Woody Allen’s early comedies. In “Take the Money and Run” (1969), he played Mr. Allen’s thieving character’s psychiatrist. In “Bananas” (1971), he was a priest again, peddling New Testament cigarettes in a send-up of a TV commercial. “New Testament cigarettes — I smoke ’em,” Mr. Frazer’s priest says, exhaling smoke and sticking a thumb skyward. “He smokes ’em.”
“Kojak,” starring Telly Savalas in the title role as Lt. Theo Kojak and broadcast from 1973 to 1978, gave Mr. Frazer his most enduring role. Mr. Frazer’s Capt. Frank McNeil often wore the fretful look of a strait-laced boss who may not always know what the unorthodox Kojak is up to but who gives him his head, knowing that Kojak, like him, is an honest cop.
Daniel Thomas Frazer was born in the West Side neighborhood in Manhattan that used to be called Hell’s Kitchen on Nov. 20, 1921, the youngest of 10 children of Daniel and Catherine Frazer. His father was a bricklayer and ironworker who helped build the Empire State Building.
Mr. Frazer traced his interest in acting to theater productions in which he performed at a community center run by a Roman Catholic church in his neighborhood, a rough place known for bars and daily shape-ups down at the docks, where longshoremen got their jobs. During World War II, he served in an Army company entertaining troops.
Mr. Frazer lived in the Los Angeles area during the 1960s and ’70s, but after “Kojak” he returned to New York and re-established his family in his old neighborhood, which had become known as Clinton. He had a regular role in the soap opera “As the World Turns,” had recurring roles in all three “Law & Order” series and performed in dinner theater companies.
In the old neighborhood, where he was a regular at local restaurants, shops, churches and community centers, he was known in later years as the Mayor of 43rd Street.
Source: The New York Times