Milton Frome; Berle’s TV Straight Man

Milton Frome, straight man for Milton Berle during television’s infancy, the autocratic studio boss on “The Beverly Hillbillies” and an actor who appeared on stages ranging from vaudeville and burlesque to the legitimate theater, died Tuesday at the Motion Picture and Television Hospital in Woodland Hills.

He was 78 and died of heart failure after a long illness, said his son, Michael Frome.

Frome also was seen in more than 50 motion pictures beginning in 1939, among them “Ride ‘em Cowboy!,” “Bye Bye Birdie,” “The Nutty Professor,” “With Six You Get Egg Roll,” “Batman” and many more. He appeared in 16 of Jerry Lewis’ films.

On stage he had toured with “Sugar Babies"--the Mickey Rooney, Ann Miller revue--in addition to holding down featured roles in “Follow the Girls,” “The Student Prince,” “Top Banana” and more.


Besides his son he is survived by his wife, Marjorie, and a brother.

Services are scheduled at 3:30 p.m. Friday at Church of the Hills, Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills.