Character actor Arthur Franz, who appeared in the 1957 movie “Hellcats of the Navy” with Ronald Reagan, died June 17 in Oxnard, Calif., of heart failure and emphysema. He was 86.
Franz worked steadily through the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s, appearing in the 1949 John Wayne film “Sands of Iwo Jima,” supplied the narration to 1954’s “The Caine Mutiny” and played a naval officer in 1951’s “Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man.” One of his better-known B films from the 1950s was “Invaders From Mars.”
His one starring role was in the 1952 film “The Sniper,” in which he played against type as an ex-soldier who snaps after being rejected in romance and goes on a killing spree in San Francisco. On TV, Franz often was cast in anthology theater series, including “Studio One,” “The Ford Television Theater” and “Zane Grey Theater.”
For nearly 30 years, he made guest appearances on TV series including “Perry Mason,” “The FBI,” “The Mod Squad,” “The Virginian” and “Rawhide.”
Born in Perth Amboy, N.J., he served in the Army Air Forces as a navigator during WWII.
After the war, he earned his first screen credit in the 1948 film “Jungle Patrol,” which started a steady stream of screen work. After his starring turn in “The Sniper,” he was featured on the Ralph Edward’s television program “This Is Your Life.”
He is survived by his wife, Sharon; two daughters, a son and a stepdaughter.