Frank Underwood is a character played by actor Kevin Spacey in the award-winning political thriller House of Cards. For his performance in the show, Spacey has been twice nominated for Best Actor at the Golden Globe Awards, of which he won one in 2015. He has further received six nominations for Outstanding Male Performance at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, winning twice in 2015 and 2016, and five Primetime Emmy Awards nominations for Outstanding Lead Actor, but failed to win any.
The show follows the rise of Underwood in Washington Politics, from being the Democratic Majority Whip in the United States House of Representatives to become the fictional 46th President of the United States. His manipulative, conniving, and sociopathic nature, which has had him commit all sorts of crimes including murder to achieve his ambition, has made the character something of a cult hero.
Frank Underwood was born as the only child to his parents; Catherine, a homemaker, and Calvin T. Underwood, a peach farmer, on November 5, 1959, in Gaffney, South Carolina. He attended a military school in Charleston, South Carolina before attending Harvard Law School where he received his Juris Doctor degree in 1984.
After leaving Harvard, Underwood went straight into politics, and at the young age of 25, he was elected to the South Carolina State Senate. He got reelected in 1988 before running to represent the 5th Congressional District of South Carolina at the U.S. House of Representatives in 1990. Underwood won the election and was subsequently sworn in 1991. He won re-election to the House of Reps 11 more times, during which he served as House Majority Whip for the Democratic Party from 2005 to 2013.
In the 2012 US Presidential election, Frank Underwood was promised to be appointed United States Secretary of State if he helped Colorado Governor Garrett Walker become president. However, after the governor assumed office, Underwood was overlooked for the position, which kicked off his plot to take away the presidency from Walker as retribution. His first step was to become a close aide of the President, assuming the office of the Vice President, by convincing the already existing VP to resign and run for Governor of Pennsylvania having kicked the race wide open by murdering its front-runner.
Underwood went on to orchestrate Walker’s fall by first ill-advising him on some decisions and then leaking information to the press about a money laundering case which he was tied to. While Underwood publicly showed support for his boss, he continued to plot an impeachment but President Walker eventually resigned from his position, leaving room for Frank Underwood to become President.
Is Frank Underwood Gay or Bisexual?
Frank Underwood’s true sexuality was a topic of debate between fans of the show in its first season due to his absurd relationship with his wife which never saw them display outright intimacy. It was further revealed that Underwood had a homosexual experience while in college, although the topic was not fully explored and the character, which was of a Southern Christian background, did not look to harbor sexual feelings towards any man but was however involved with another woman, Washington Herald reporter Zoe Barnes.
In the second season, a clearer picture is painted of Underwood’s sexual identity as a bisexual as he engaged in a threesome with his Secret Service bodyguard Edward Meechum and wife. Subsequently, there was further light thrown on Underwood’s sexual attractions to men as there was sexual tension between him and his biographer, Tom Yates although nothing materialized between them. Yates went on to begin a sexual relationship with his wife, first lady Claire, as Underwood himself began his own romantic relationship with another man, Eric Rawlings, who had initially made an appearance in the second season of the series as Underwood’s great-great-great grandfather Augustus Underwood in a Civil War reenactment.
Frank Underwood’s sexuality has drawn similarities to that of the actor portraying the character. Kevin Spacey, who has, unlike Underwood, never been married, but has been speculated to be gay although the actor denies it. He has dated a number of women in Hollywood and has continued to deny the fact that he might be at least bisexual until recently in 2017 when he said he has in the past had relationships with both men and women but will henceforth be identifying as a gay man.