Frankovich was the adopted son of American comedian Joe E. Brown and raised in a show business family. He graduated from UCLA and began a career in radio in the 1930s. He also acted in a few films (e.g., Rosita, Yesterday's Heroes, Buck Privates, The Great American Broadcast and Meet John Doe). In 1938 he became a screenwriter and then a film producer.
He spent World War II with the US Army in Europe and stayed on, from 1955 as a producer in London for Columbia Pictures. By 1962 he was in charge of all of Columbia's international production but in 1963 he returned to Hollywood as Columbia's vice-president in charge of all production. His films include Decameron Nights, Footsteps in the Fog, Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice, The Looking Glass War, Cactus Flower, There's a Girl in My Soup, Butterflies Are Free, 40 Carats and The Shootist.
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