LOS ANGELES -- The death of Frederic Downs, 81, whose five-decade acting career ranged from Broadway to films to both the infancy and maturity of television, was announced recently. Downs worked at nearly all the major film studios and on the top three commercial TV networks, as well as touring with Lotte Lenya in Three Penny Opera. He was also in the original cast of Fiorello on Broadway in 1957. Additionally, Downs wrote drama, including a play about Abraham Lincoln, Lincoln's Scrapbook.
His major movies included The Cotton Club and Splendor in the Grass.
In 1974 Downs received the Los Angeles Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor for his work in Bus Stop.
-- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent