Frank Cady, a character actor best known for playing the down-home shopkeeper, Sam Drucker, on the popular 1960s sitcoms “Petticoat Junction” and “Green Acres,” died on Friday at his home in Wilsonville, Ore. He was 96.
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Catherine Turk, his daughter, confirmed his death.
Mr. Cady played Sam Drucker for nearly a decade on the two shows, both set in the fictional town of Hooterville.
Mr. Drucker was a bit of a straight man to the colorfully zany folk who populated the series, both on CBS. His general store was the closest thing Hooterville had to a social club, and unlike the shops in neighboring Pixley, Drucker’s extended credit.
Mr. Cady’s Sam Drucker also appeared occasionally on a third homespun comedy, “The Beverly Hillbillies.” All three shows were produced by Paul Henning.
Critics found the shows simple-minded, but in 1990 Mr. Cady defended “Green Acres,” about a city couple who move to the country.
“The only thing I resent is people calling it a corny show,” he told CBS News. “It’s highly sophisticated, and it’s timeless, as I think all the reruns are establishing.”
Mr. Cady had an extensive career outside of Drucker’s store. He played the part of Doc Williams on “The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet” from 1953 to 1964, appeared on television shows like “Wagon Train” and “Perry Mason,” and acted in films, including “Rear Window” and “Ace in the Hole.”
Mr. Cady largely retired in 1977, but he did reprise the role of Sam Drucker in 1990, in the TV movie “Return to Green Acres.”
Frank Randolph Cady was born on Sept. 8, 1915, in Susanville, Calif., and graduated from Stanford University’s drama department in 1938. He served in the Army Air Forces during World War II and started acting onstage after returning from the war.
In addition to his daughter, he is survived by a son, Steven; three grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. His wife, Shirley, whom he married in 1940, died in 2008.