Ben Alexander was an Emmy-nominated American motion picture actor, who started out as a child actor in 1915.
Born Nicholas Benton Alexander III in Goldfield, Nevada and raised in California, Alexander made his screen debut at age of five in Every Pearl a Tear. He went on to portray Lillian Gish’s young brother in D.W. Griffith’s Hearts of the World. After a number of silent era films, he retired from screen work but came back for the World War I classic, All Quiet on the Western Front, in which Alexander made his first positive impression as an adult actor in the role of Kemmerick, the tragic amputation victim.
When Alexander’s acting career slowed down in the mid-1930s, he found a new career as a successful radio announcer in the late 1940’s, including for The Martin and Lewis Show, and in 1952, Jack Webb chose him to replace Barton Yarborough, who had suddenly and unexpectedly died and had played Friday’s original partner, Ben Romero. A few actors filled in as Friday’s partners until Alexander was hired as a permanent replacement in the newly created role of Officer Frank Smith, first, in the radio series, and then, in the TV series Dragnet. In 1966, Alexander returned to TV police work as Sergeant Dan Briggs on the weekly ABC cop series Felony Squad.
For his contribution to the entertainment industry Ben Alexander has three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for television, radio and movies.