Harry Frazier, Stage Actor and Frequent Santa, Died at 77 | Playbill

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News Harry Frazier, Stage Actor and Frequent Santa, Died at 77 Harry Frazier, who had a long career on stage and on the small screen, but whose most frequent role was old St. Nick, died May 26 at the Motion Picture and Television Hospital in Woodland Hills, the Los Angeles Times reported. The cause was complications from diabetes. For some years he had been a resident of the assisted-living facility adjoining the hospital.

Mr. Frazier's stout physique, jolly appearance and full beard made him a natural for two roles: Santa Claus and Sir John Falstaff. He played both parts often. His Shakespeare credits did not stop at the Falstaff plays. At the Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga, CA, he had leading roles in The Tempest, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Henry IV and others plays. He also performed in Shakespeare festivals in San Diego, Garden Grove and elsewhere around California, according to the L.A. Times.

He donned Santa's red suit most frequently for television. Among his Father Christmas credits were "The Elf and the Magic Key," "The Elf Who Saved Christmas," "Deep Cover," "Knots Landing," "Night Court" and "Cheers."

Mr. Frazier was born July 30, 1929, in Elk County, PA. He began his acting career in regional theatre in the late 1950s, at the Milwaukee Repertory Theater and the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. He appeared on Broadway in three plays presented by ACT which had short runs in 1969 and ran in repertory: Albee's Tiny Alice, Chekhov's Three Sisters and Feydeau's A Flea in Her Ear. The first two were directed by William Ball, the last by Gower Champion.

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