R.I.P. Frank Buxton, writer, actor and director on 'The Odd Couple,' 'Happy Days'

The multifaceted TV talent passed away on January 2 at the age of 87.

Image: The Everett Collection

In the 1960s, Frank Buxton rose to fame as the host and producer of the ABC documentary show Discovery, teaching kids about the world, often with his trusty baby bloodhound Corpuscle at his side. But once he proved his writing chops in the writer's room on the movie What's Up, Tiger Lily?, he quickly proved he knew what it took to engage an adult audience, too.

It wouldn't be long before he broke into Garry Marshall's world of classic sitcoms in the 1970s, penning episodes and serving as director for beloved classic shows like Happy Days and Mork & Mindy. Perhaps his best work, though, was on The Odd Couple. He directed nine episodes and contributed writing on five, including the critically acclaimed "Password." In 1997, TV Guide declared "Password" the fifth greatest TV episode of all time.

In addition to directing episodes of Mork & Mindy in the '80s, Buxton also proved his talent as a voice actor on kids shows like Garfield and Friends and Chip 'n' Dale Rescue Rangers. As an actor, he appeared in movies like Beaches, Frankie and Johnny, and Overboard. He continued acting through the 2000s, and according to Deadline.com, Buxton remained active in local theater and improv groups in his hometown Bainbridge Island, Washington.

On January 2, 2018, Frank Buxton died at the age of 87.

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