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Colonel Frank Fitts is the main antagonist of the 1999 drama film American Beauty.

He was portrayed by Chris Cooper, who also portrayed Alexander Conklin in The Bourne Identity, Tex Richman in The Muppets and Norman Osborn in the Amazing Spider-Man 2.

Frank, his wife Barbara and their teenage son Ricky are new neighbors who just moved in to the same street as Lester Burnham and his family. An ex-Marine, Frank runs his family like a platoon. He insists on discipline and order at all times, especially from Ricky, whom he sees as a disappointment. His marriage is a loveless one; he and Barbara barely speak to one another. He also collects firearms and Nazi memorabilia such as plates emblazoned with swastikas.

Frank is also virulently homophobic. 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. Frank is disgusted by their openness about their homosexuality, and complains to Ricky about "faggots" living in the neighborhood. He soon comes to believe (incorrectly) that Ricky may be gay, and bullies him incessantly to keep him on the "straight and narrow". He finds a video Ricky secretly shot of Lester working out in the nude, and fears that Ricky and the much older Lester are lovers.

When Ricky breaks into Frank's room, Frank catches him and punches him in the face, accusing him of looking for money for drugs. Ricky confesses that he was trying to steal Frank's Nazi plate to show Lester's daughter Jane, with whom he is in love. Frank doesn't believe him and kicks him out of the house, saying he would rather his son be dead than gay.

That night, Frank comes over to Lester's house and finds him working out. When Frank asks about Lester's wife Carolyn, Lester replies that their marriage is just for show. Frank misunderstands Lester and tries to kiss him; when Lester gently rebuffs his advances, Frank starts crying and leaves. Soon afterward, Frank breaks into Lester's house and shoots him in the back of the head with a SIG-Sauer P226, killing him.

Trivia

  • Frank is similar to Claude's Father. Both accuse their son of being homosexuals, they beat them up and both are closeted homosexual themselves.