Character Actor, Director Frank Alesia Dies

The Emmy-nominated "Captain Kangaroo" helmer appeared in "Riot on the Sunset Strip" and "Laverne & Shirley."

Frank Alesia, a character actor in the beach party movies of the 1960s and a director of Captain Kangaroo, died Feb. 27 of natural causes at his home in Carlsbad, Calif. He was 65.

Alesia came to Hollywood from Chicago in 1964 and was one of the last character actors to work under the studio system. His film appearances included Riot on the Sunset Strip (1967) and some of the beach films that starred Frankie Avalon and/or Annette Funicello, including Bikini Beach (1964), Pajama Party (1964) and Beach Blanket Bingo (1965).

Alesia also appeared on such TV series as That Girl; Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.; The Odd Couple; Room 222; The Flying Nun; and Laverne & Shirley. He wrote for and directed for the latter.

Alesia directed the kids show Captain Kangaroo and was nominated for a daytime Emmy in 1979.

After show business, Alesia bred and raced thoroughbreds.

Survivors include his wife Sharon, his children Dore and Eden Alpert and his sister Lucille. Arrangements for a celebration of his life were pending.