A Fan-Favorite Reality Star Was Just Hospitalized After A Stroke

We wish them a speedy recovery.

By Michileen Martin | Published

For a decade, expert antique collector and seller Frank Fritz was one of the hosts of History’s reality show American Pickers, though he hasn’t appeared on the series since 2020. Today disheartening news surfaced about Fritz. Fritz’s former co-host Mike Wolfe announced on Instagram that his former screen partner had been hospitalized after suffering a stroke.

Late Thursday night, Wolfe took to social media to post a shot of Frank Fritz of American Pickers fame. Wolfe’s caption addresses the supposed feud between him and Fritz, with Wolfe writing, “There has been lots of opinions in regards to mine and Frank’s friendship and the show but now is not the time to set the record straight. Now is the time to pray for my friend.” Wolfe then delivered the news of Fritz’s stroke and asked fans to keep his former co-host in their “hearts and thoughts.” He ends the note with, “Frank I pray more than anything that you make it through this okay. I love you buddy.” You can see the post below.

It was, in fact, a year ago this Thursday that the world learned that Frank Fritz would not be returning to American Pickers. As Entertainment Weekly reported at the time, the reality show had been delayed — like so many productions — because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but once production resumed in the Spring of 2021 Fritz was a no-show. The co-host said his recent back surgery and Crohn’s Disease presented him with more immunity challenges. In July 2021, that break became permanent.

Though the exact details of Frank Fritz’s departure from American Pickers haven’t been made public, certain likely contributions have since come to light. Shortly after his firing from the show was announced, Fritz spoke to the UK tabloid The Sun and claimed that he had been in rehab for alcohol abuse for 77 days shortly before he got the boot. At the time he seemed optimistic about his chances for staying sober, adding, “I’d still like to get back to my job, I miss my friends and my people and being on the road and meeting all those different characters.” The following month, Wolfe spoke to The Sun to respond to Fritz’s hopes to return, and it didn’t sound good. Wolfe referenced his former co-host’s struggles with addiction, saying “We all do care about Frank and we want him back on the show. I would love to talk with him again, we would absolutely love to, but he just can’t get it right”

Things apparently soured between Wolfe and Frank Fritz off screen of American Pickers long before the latter’s firing. Speaking to The Sun a couple of days before he was fired, Fritz claimed Wolfe hadn’t spoken to him in two years. Fritz referenced his back surgery, saying, “He knew my back was messed up, but he didn’t call me up and ask how I was doing. That’s just how it is.” He also claimed that he had become a background player on American Pickers, saying that the series was “tilted towards [Wolfe] 1,000 percent.”

Hopefully, whether or not Frank Fritz ever returns to American Pickers, he’ll recover from his stroke. Perhaps he and Wolfe will be able to find some kind of resolution in the future. Regardless, we wish Fritz much better health.