Frank Cady became a star because he began balding at 24 years old
The veteran character actor attributed his success to his "dome."
In the 1960s, character actor Frank Cady achieved more than any TV star when he began regularly appearing in not one, not two, but three Top 20 rated TV shows, all on air at the same time.
On Green Acres, Petticoat Junction and The Beverly Hillbillies, Cady portrayed Sam Drucker, the general storekeeper, newspaper editor, mayor and postmaster of Hooterville, appearing in hundreds of episodes.
At the same time, Cady could be seen on other hit shows like The Andy Griffith Show, Gunsmoke and Wagon Train. And before all that, his first recurring TV role came on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.
In 1969, a TV writer for United Press International described Cady as "a force to deal with in television through sheer quantitative appearances."
Through all of this newly acquired fame, Cady remained humble, claiming, "I don’t have a big impact. I’m not a flashy guy."
But while Cady wasn’t ready to consider himself a "force" on TV, he did partly attribute his success to one notable characteristic: his baldness.
In 1970, Cady told The Cincinnati Enquirer that when he began balding at the age of 24, he considered it lucky because he never thought he was good-looking enough to become a leading man, anyway.
His baldness helped him stand out in another way.
"I’m not that handsome type, the collar-ad kind," Cady said. "The dome has helped. I know I’m the character type."
In his home life, Cady married his soulmate Shirley after they met putting on musicals at Stanford University. By that point, Cady was already bald, but fully embraced it.
Both liked to sing and write songs, and soon after marrying, they had a boy and a girl to complete their little family.
In 1970, they’d been married for more than 30 years, and Cady was just as excited talking about his wife as he was the first time that he heard her sing. He gushed about what he thought it was that kept their marriage going so strong despite his busy Hollywood career.
"We have a lot of common interests," Cady said. "We like each other very much. We both love to golf, camp and travel together. Music is both our hobbies. We’re both interested in writing."
Out of all the characters Cady played across his career, which stretched from 1947 to 1990, Sam Drucker was the character he said was the most like himself.
"I’ve never had more fun in my life than playing this character," Cady said. "He’s closer to me than any other roles I ever played."