• 4 December 1947
  •  Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Mark Frechette


Frechette died in prison after robbing a bank. His acting debut was in Michelangelo Antonioni's controversial exploration of turbulent 1970 America, Zabriskie Point (1970). As Antonioni toured the U.S., experiencing cultural clash firsthand and shooting background footage, a talent scout saw Frechette, a carpenter, scream and throw a flowerpot at a woman on a Boston street. Antonioni immediately cast Frechette, a non-actor, in the movie's lead role: a college student, wrongfully hunted for the murder of a policeman during a campus uprising. Throughout the filming, Mark Frechette and the director disagreed bitterly about the script, while Frechette had an affair with co-star Daria Halprin. After the film, she joined Frechette in Mel Lyman's Boston commune, which supposedly had previously turned Frechette away, but accepted him after he was cast in Zabriskie Point (1970). Lyman had been a member of the Jim Kweskin Jug Band. Frechette donated $60,000 from films to the commune. Halprin soon left the Fort Hill commune. Frechette quickly starred in 2 Italian movies, then was arrested for a 1973 bank robbery a few blocks from the commune, in which "Hercules" Thien, 1 of his 2 fellow cult member accomplices, was killed. Frechette's own gun had no bullets. After his arrest, Frechette explained the bank robbery: "It would be like a direct attack on everything that is choking this country to death". In 1975, while serving a 6-15 year prison sentence, a 150 pound weight Frechette was lifting fell on his throat, killing him. Frechette, a high school dropout of Quebecois ancestry, from Fairfield, Connecticut, was twice hospitalized for emotional problems, and several times arrested, prior to Zabriskie Point (1970).


Movie Name Release Date
Ζαμπρίσκι Πόιντ – Zabriskie Point (1970) April 17, 1970