Remembered by many for his role as Captain Crane alongside Lance Legault’s Col. Decker in The A-Team, Carl Franklin‘s influence on popular culture is more than just a bumbling military police side-kick. Franklin is actually a graduate of University of California, Berkeley, who later continued his education at the AFI Conservatory, where he graduated with an M.F.A. degree in directing in 1986. Since then he has become a successful actor, screenwriter, producer, film and television director.
Debuting on the screen in 1973, Franklin soon found himself guesting in The Streets of San Francisco, and later playing Sgt. Mark Walters in Caribe opposite Stacy Keach’s Lt. Ben Logan. They played two Miami-based police officers who battled crime in the Caribbean. Through the shows 13 episodes a number of guest stars appeared including Dianne Muldaur, Robert Loggia, Thalmus Rasulala, Brett Somers, James T. Callahan, Ismael ‘East’ Carlo, Maurice Evans, Louis Gossett Jr., William Joyce, Patrick Macnee, Richard O’Brien, and Philip Michael Thomas.
Following Caribe roles followed in Cannon, Good Times, Visions and Most Wanted. In 1977 Franklin was cast as Dr. Fred Walters in the television series The Fantastic Journey which follows the crew of a scientific expedition in the Atlantic Ocean that becomes lost in the Bermuda Triangle and washes up on an uncharted island. They meet up with travellers from other times, planets, and dimensions who have also become trapped, and together they “slide” through portals from one dimension to the next hoping to find the one that leads home. Franklin acted alongside the likes of Roddy McDowall, Jared Martin, Kate Saylor and Ike Eisenmann as well as a guest cast that included Joan Collins, John Saxon, Nicholas Hammond, and Cheryl Ladd amongst others.
As the 1970’s rolled into the 1980’s Franklin made appearances in The Incredible Hulk, Loose Change, The Rockford Files, Trapper John M.D., Barnaby Jones, Lou Grant, Quincey M.E., The Devil’s Connection, and Cover Up. He also played Detective Cross in McClain’s Law.
Between 1983 and 1985 Franklin played Captain Crane in The A-Team as mentioned above, he would also make appearances in MacGyver, Riptide, Hill Street Blues, and as Dr. Willoughby in ALF’s Special Christmas. In 1986 Franklin took his first shot in the director’s chair with the short film Punk which he also wrote. The film starred Don Cheadle, Wayne Collins, and Shaun D. Hunter; the film would get a wider release in 1993. In 1989 Franklin would take on the role of director again, this time for the film Nowhere to Run. The film starred David Carradine, Matt Adler, Jocelyn Jones, Jason Priestley, Kelly Ashmore…
Rural Texas, 1960 — An age of good times and innocence, when growing up was supposed to be easy. Six high school seniors know the terrible secret that will make the difference in the biggest election in the county’s history. Now they must make the most difficult decision of their lives. They must become adults.
This was followed up with another turn as director for Eye of the Eagle 2: Inside the Enemy, which follows soldier Anthony Glenn (Todd Field) who discovers that Mai (Shirley Tesoro) is missing so sets out to rescue her from the corrupt Major Sorenson (Andy Wood) pitting soldier against soldier in a bloody game of honour. Franklin also appeared in the movie as Col. Rawlins.
As the 1990’s rolled in Franklin was starting to end his time in front of the camera with appearances in Last Stand at Lang Mei (which he wrote), Full Fathom Five (which he wrote and directed), In the Heat of Passion and a final appearance (as of writing) in Rosanne.
Behind the camera Franklin remains active to this day, directing amongst other things One False Move, two episodes of the TV show Laurel Avenue, Devil in a Blue Dress (for which he also write the screenplay), One True Thing, High Crimes, Out of Time, Rome, The Riches, The Pacific, Falling Skies, Magic City, House of Cards, The Newsroom, Homeland, The Affair, Vinyl, Bloodline, 13 Reasons Why, The Leftovers, Ten Days in the Valley, Chance, Ray Donovan, I am the Night, and Mindhunter.