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The Times Newspaper - Wednesday 12 March 1997


A British actor who hoped to make his name in America died after his motorcycle crashed in mysterious circumstances, an inquest in west London was told yesterday.

Mark Frankel, 34, who played a Jewish London estate agent who discovers his father is a Yorkshire pig rearer in Leon the Pig Farmer, died last September after falling off his Harley-Davidson in Chiswick, west London.

A police accident investigator said there was no apparent reason for the accident. Mr. Frankel's widow, Caroline, 32, who was pregnant when he died, said her husband had always been fascinated by motorcycles and the one he had been riding was one of only six in the world. She said he was an extremely careful rider. The couple also had a three-year-old son. Mr. Frankel had appeared in a number of American television shows and his mother, Grace, said that he had believed his future was in the U.S. An open verdict was recorded.

The Jewish Chronicle 14 March 1997


An open verdict has been recorded on the death of Leon the Pig Farmer star Mark Frankel. The 34-year-old actor died from injuries sustained when he fell off his custom-built motorbike in Chiswick last September.

A police accident investigator told an inquest on Tuesday that there was no apparent reason for the accident. In evidence, the actor's widow, Caroline, said that the yellow Harley Davidson-powered bike was a project close to his heart. "He was really thrilled with it and kept saying how beautiful his bike was." She stressed that he was a careful rider.

The Jewish Chronicle - 4 October 1996

Theatrical colleagues pay tribute to Mark Frankel


Tributes are pouring in from the theatrical world for Mark Frankel - star of the hit movie Leon the Pig Farmer - who was killed in a road crash last week. The 34-year-old actor died in a hospital from injuries sustained when his Harley Davidson collided with a lorry in Chiswick, West London.

His funeral service at Kingston Liberal Synagogue was attended by many of his co-stars and professional colleagues with whom he had become firm friends. Among the mourners were Gina Bellman, Jason Isaacs and Gary Sinyor, who directed two of the actor's films.

To British audiences, Mark Frankel was probably best known for his lead role as Leon in Vadim Jean's and Mr. Sinyor's award-winning comedy, in which he portrayed a Jewish North-West London estate agent who discovers he's really the son of a Yorkshire pig farmer. He went on to star in Gary Sinyor's second comedy film Solitaire for Two in which the romantic lead of a suave, smooth-talker was written specially for him.

Brought up in Long Ditton, Surrey, his "Englishness" also made him an actor in demand in the US. There he was known to viewers as a rich recluse in the popular NBC series Sisters and an action hero in Fortune Hunter on cable channel TNT. He also co-starred in another hit American TV series The Kindred, produced by 20th Century Fox. He had completed another movie, Roseanna's Grave, on location in Italy earlier this year.

Paying tribute for the actor, Mr. Sinyor told the JC, "We worked closely professionally and were very good friends. I expected to continue seeing him on a regular basis for the rest of my life. I can't remember a time in his company when I wasn't feeling happy."

A spokesman for the star's agent added "He was on the verge of becoming a massive star. We've never met anyone with so much life and energy. He will be very much missed."

Mr. Frankel leaves a wife, Caroline, who is expecting their second child, and a two-year-old son, Fabian.


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