Frank Paul Vent

Frank Paul Vent was born in Detroit, Michigan on April 22, 1921.  He passed away February 1st, 2012 from natural causes. Frank’s parents emigrated from Italy in the early 1900’s. From an early age, Frank discovered he had an natural ability to draw. He followed his instincts and developed his artistic abilities that lasted the rest of his life. 

The first organization to notice his imaginative talent was the US Navy. He enlisted in the Navy in September 1942. He began his Navy career as a Signalman. He eventually became skilled as a topographer.  He was assigned to a Navy Special Service Team (later renamed Navy Seals).  Their mission was to secretly map the harbors and important logistic areas of the mainland of Japan for the intended/inevitable US invasion. After secretly traversing the Pacific Ocean and months of preparing for this mission, the plan was abandoned in early August 1945 as a result of the unconditional surrender of the Imperial Japanese Empire.

After his honorable discharge in 1946, Frank met the love of his life. Her name was Gilda Rita Betteral.  They were married in 1946.  They moved to Burbank in 1949 accompanied by Gilda’s parents and 7 brothers and sisters.

In 1951, Frank and Gilda opened Vent’s Paint Store at 1509 N. San Fernando Road, in Burbank. Gilda, better known as “Jill” was way ahead of her time. She almost singlehandedly built and ran this successful business by herself while Frank focused on his commercial artist career.  Jill’s brother Woody opened Woody’s Screen Center on the same property that same year. In the late fifties one of Frank’s specialties was painting colorful flames on all the hot rods in Burbank. If your hot rod was parked in front of Burbank or Burroughs High School, you proudly presented Frank’s work. If the painted flames didn’t have Frank’s trademark logo which was VENT with the E reversed, it just wasn’t cool.

In the late 70’s, Frank opened an art gallery in Burbank to show his paintings and to offer art classes.  He loved to teach and share his gift of painting. One of his specialties was seascapes. He would spend countless summer weekends in Carmel and Laguna Beach replicating on canvas what he visually captured.

During that decade he also found his niche in acting.  He spent years perfecting his talent of the arts.  He was awarded the Drama Log award in 1983 for his acting performance in an original production of Cabin 12. The shows performance was showcased at several theaters in Hollywood which included the televised version on PBS in which Frank recreated his award winning performance. He continued his long relationship as a member of the Theatre West Company in Hollywood until just recently.  Frank was a long time SAG/AFTRA member. His credits include the new Carol Burnett Show and many smaller roles as a character actor.

We will all miss his commitment to his family especially his grandchildren. Frank took great pleasure in helping his grandchildren on every school project that needed his art contributions. Those lucky grandkids always got A’s on their art projects.  Frank leaves behind his daughter’s Karen Vent and Paula Davis, son-in-law Tim Davis and his grandchildren Renee and Tim along with his great grandchildren, Liliana, Lucas and Jackson. On Friday February 3rd all of his family and friends celebrated his final curtain call. We will all miss him.

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