That’s right, Frank Bank – who the New York Times writer Anita Gates described as the “sweet teenage nitwit” on the sitcom “Leave it to Beaver” (1958-1963) died April 13, the day after his 71st birthday in Los Angeles.
You may recall that Bank – who later became a stock jock – moved to KC in 1992 to practice the fine art of counseling people on investments before moving back to LA in 1997.
The 50 year-old Bank told the Star at the time that, “It wasn’t the snow that enticed us. The people are wonderful.”
As for why Bank became a stockbroker – other than his acting career running out of steam – “I was the capitalist of the crew,” he said of the Beaver ensemble. “The others were reading Daily Variety; I was reading the The Wall Street Journal. ”
To better fit in here, Bank shaved his beard, bought a Jeep Cherokee in Raytown and made plans to build a home in Leawood.
During his time here, Bank made some unusual but profitable forecasts.
In January of 1995 for example, Bank predicted a bull market before the stock market soared 37.4 percent.
“This is the year of the pig,” he said. “Now, the pig graces the Chinese calendar every 12 years, (and) there has not been a down pig year on Wall Street since 1923. Maybe that’s when Porky made his debut. So stop fretting about stocks; 1995 is the year of the pig.”
To bolster his prognostication, Lumpy – I mean Bank – also noted that the third year of a presidency was “good for stocks” and that when the NFC wins the Super Bowl “the market will go up and when the AFC wins, it goes down. Eight days later the 49ers beat the Chargers cementing Bank’s case for a bull market that year.
“See how scientific I am?” he said.
Two years later when he moved back to California, Bank told me, “It was a monetary thing; I can’t help that. I was invited to join a firm called Southern Financial Group and we’re opening up a series of offices out here. ”
He jokingly attributed the heart attack to local restaurants like Bryant’s, the Peanut, R.C.’s and Stroud’s adding, “There were times when I was almost late for my radio show (on 1340 AM) because I’d stop at the Peanut for a wing injection.”
Then there was the matter of Bank’s former wild streak.
Bank also co-authored a book with axed, former Star sports columnist Gib Twyman.
It was quite the page-turner, I wrote at the time, detailing stories about Bank’s hot-rod days with his high school club, the Knights, run-ins with Marlon Brando and Alfred Hitchcock, and the time he sneaked his ex-wife’s husband’s ashes into Graceland and crawled up to Elvis Presley‘s grave and dumped them on “the green, green grass of Elvis’ home. ”
“I read Chapter No. 4 before his wife got to it and it was toned down. ”
Bank’s Wilt the Stilt-like claim to fame:
“I have slept with over 1,000 women,” he wrote.
Rest in peace, Big Guy. You earned it!