Colonel Frank Fitts is the main antagonist of the 1999 romantic film American Beauty. The Fitts are new neighbors who just moved in to the same street as Lester and his family. Frank tries earning a positive reputation for himself by informing the neighborhood, including the film's protagonist Lester that he was an American war veteran who is ex-Marine Corps. This later turns out to be a lie and that Frank Fitts was actually a Nazi German war veteran.
Frank is strictly a homophobe. Near the beginning of the film, Frank is greeted at the door by his new neighbors Jim Olmeyer and Jim Berkeley, who are a gay couple. Jim and Jim gift Frank with a basket full of pasta, garden produce and flowers to welcome Frank into the neighborhood and hopefully to make Frank accept them as his new neighbors. Frank accepts the basket, but he gets angry that he has gay neighbors, and complains to his son Ricky that faggots should not be open about their homosexuality.
Frank bullies his son not just out of accusing him of being gay and well as doing things behind his back, such as taking drugs. The reason why he believed his son Ricky was gay was that in part to Ricky having a bad and rude habit of video-recording the Burnhams, Ricky recorded Lester being nude working out in order to impress Angela. Ricky was technically after Lester's daughter Jane. Ricky then pleads that he intended to film Jane and not Lester (Jane exposed herself naked throughout the window, but Frank scares her off). Ricky had broken into Frank's room earlier, and Frank punches him in the face accusing him of looking for money. Ricky confesses it was Frank's Nazi plate that he wanted, and he broke into Frank's room to show Jane that plate. Despite that the two seemed to have reconciled from that argument, Fitts still accuses Ricky of being a gay who chases after Lester and not Lester's daughter Jane. Ricky is fed up with his father's abusive ways and accepts his father's demand to leave home and never come back.
While Lester is working out in his garage on a rainy night, Colonel Frank comes to him then opens up to be gay himself and tries to kiss Lester, who refuses to let Frank kiss him, but still hugs him anyways to console the crying heartbroken colonel.
At the end of the film, Colonel Frank kills Lester with a SIG-Sauer P226.
- Frank is similar to Claude's Father. Both accuse their son of being homosexuals, they beat them up and both are closeted homosexual themselves.