Friday, November 8, 2013
Frank Messenger -- A Not so Merry Xmas
Messenger served as an assistant director on the 1920 Universal film The Virgin of Stamboul before moving to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in the early thirties. While continuing to assistant direct at MGM (Eskimo, 1934), Messenger became widely known as a production (or unit) manager for his work on Maytime (1937), Rosalie (1937), and his final film, Northwest Passage, released in 1940 after his death. On December 19, 1939, the 48-year-old production manager was helping his wife, Dorothy, decorate the Christmas tree in their home at 6617 Maryland Drive in Hollywood when he suddenly left the room, went to the garage, and fatally shot himself in the head with a pistol. Messenger, according to authorities, had been unemployed for several months.