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Franklin Cover 1928-2006
 


Country : Cleveland, OH
Profession : Actor
Date of birth : 1928-11-20
Date of death : 2006-02-05
Cause of Death : Pneumonia

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Franklin Edward Cover (November 20, 1928February 5, 2006) was an American actor most noted for starring on the sitcom The Jeffersons. His character, Tom Willis, was half of one of the first interracial marriages to be seen on prime-time television.

Biography

Cover was born in Cleveland, Ohio, the son of Britta (née Schreck) and Franklin Held Cover. His career started on the stage acting in Henry IV, Part 1 and Hamlet. He also appeared in Forty Carats with Julie Harris. He made his television debut on Naked City and later appeared on The Jackie Gleason Show.

His first significant role was on The Jeffersons as Tom Willis who was married to a black wife, Helen, played by Roxie Roker. The couple lived in the same high-rise apartment building as the sitcom's title characters. Cover would often be the foil to Sherman Hemsley's black businessman, George Jefferson. The sitcom ran from 1975 to 1985. He also appeared in The Stepford Wives in 1975.

Following the end of The Jeffersons, Cover continued to make guest appearances on television shows as well as appearing in a supporting role in Wall Street. In 1994, he appeared in the first episode of ER to follow the pilot. His final appearance was in an episode of Will & Grace (entitled "Object Of My Rejection") in 1999.

Cover died at the Lillian Booth Actors' Fund of America home in Englewood, New Jersey, on February 5, 2006. He had been living at the home since December 2005 while recuperating from a heart condition and died of pneumonia. He is survived by his wife, the former Mary Bradford Stone, and two adult children. His son, Bradford Cover, is a 1985 graduate of Milton Academy.

TELEVISION
The Jeffersons Tom Willis (1975-85)

FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
Almost Heroes (29-May-1998)
Brain Donors (17-Apr-1992)
Wall Street (11-Dec-1987)
A Woman Called Golda (26-Apr-1982)
The Stepford Wives (12-Feb-1975)
Mirage (26-May-1965)

FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
Queen of the Damned (10-Feb-2002)
Romeo Must Die (20-Mar-2000)

 

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