One need only say the word “Yesssss?” with the correct inflection and an arch of the eyebrow to conjure Nelson’s unique presence. His career, which began in Denver in 1926 when he was a teenager, reads like a Who’s Who of classic radio and television, including I Love Lucy, The Flintstones, Burns and Allen and Fibber McGee and Molly, along with the Bing Crosby, Eddie Cantor, Rudy Vallee, Bob Hope, Red Skelton, Abbott and Costello and Jack Benny shows. Until his death at 75 in 1986, he was a tireless advocate for AFTRA performers on the local and national boards, and served as president of Los Angeles Local from 1949 — 54 and 1966 — 68.
Nelson introduced a national mandate on the floor of the 1954 convention that instructed George Heller to negotiate inclusion of the Pension and Welfare Plans for contracts covering live television. He was a senior trustee of the Plans from 1956 until his death in 1986. Nelson founded the L.A. local’s Sick and Benefit Fund, which was named for him in 1986 to honor the great service he gave to AFTRA members in all walks of their professional lives. George Heller Memorial Gold Card No. 2 went to Frank Nelson in 1958 for his remarkable and tenacious dedication to this most important contribution to professional performers’ lives. He was pleased to recall that upon the overwhelming vote on this convention mandate in 1954, Heller smiled and said to him, “Well, you so-and-so, you really did it.”
In 1998, 12 years after his death, the animated hit TV series The Simpsons paid him the ultimate tribute in creating the “Yes Guy” character introduced in the episode Mayored to the Mob.