Introduced as the patriarch of the Tate family, Frank had a volatile relationship with his wife Kim Tate. Frank and Kim divorced and remarried before his death, brought on by her return to the village after being presumed dead, ended their second marriage.
Other notable storylines included his addiction to alcohol, coming to terms with Zoe's sexuality, his various business dealings and feuds with the likes of Jack Sugden, Ned Glover, Dave Glover,Steve Marchant, and even his own son, Chris.
Frank was born Francis Ronald Tate on 1st October 1937 to Nigel Tate and an unknown woman. Frank was an only child. In the mid-1950s, Frank did his National Service. Frank had an illegitimate son called Liam Hammond in 1961 and left his mother. Frank met Jean shortly afterwards and they married in 1962 and they had two children, Chris in 1963 and Zoe in 1968. Frank had problems with violence and would lash out in angry outbursts in the presence of his children whilst Jean just stood by crying. Frank never knew he had a secret son from his previous relationship, a son who grew up in poverty while Frank lived the life of luxury.
In 1984 Jean fell ill with cancer and as Frank struggled to cope he had an affair with his much-younger secretary Kim Barker. He also developed a drinking problem which Kim helped cover up and hide from his wife. One day the doctors informed Frank that Jean only had a few days to live, however, those days turned to months and Jean got worse and worse mentally. Jean then asked Frank to assist her suicide and after Frank gave her an overdose Jean passed away at Christmas Eve that year. In March 1986 Frank and Kim married. By 1989 Frank was a multimillionaire, which he then decided to retire and bought Home Farm.
1989-1997: Life in EmmerdaleEditBusinessman Frank Tate arrived in Beckindale in November 1989. Frank then revealed that he planned to buy Home Farm when NY Estates pulled out 2 years earlier but was unsuccessful at that time. As the patriarch of the Tate family, he arrived with his second wife Kim, son Chris and daughter Zoe. In March 1990, the truth behind Frank's role and Jean's suicide and his affair with Kim was revealed to the family. Frank soon clashed with local farmer Jack Sugden.
Frank, having made his fortune in haulage, and Kim bought Home Farm along with all the land belonging to it. Matt Skilbeck demanded that Frank sacks the incompetent man who is the manager of Frank's haulage firm until Frank said that he is his son. Matt wanted to start afresh, so Frank helped him make a fresh start away from the village, in Norfolk. Frank and Kim continued to run Tate Haulage along with Chris. Frank had big plans for the village and wanted to shake things up. This lead to another row between him and Jack Sugden. Frank and Kim's married life was shattered in 1992 when Kim had an affair with gamekeeper Neil Kincaid which came out during Christmas running the family celebration. Frank violently attacked Neil, and then subsequently threw her out and they divorced. Frank was deeply affected by his separation from Kim, and turned to alcoholism to drown his sorrows. Zoe and Chris desperately tried to keep him away from drinking but he refused and only got worse.
In December 1993, Frank was deemed a hero during the plane crash that rocked Beckindale when he helped his rival Jack Sugden rebuild Skipdale bridge that had been demolished by the crash and let emergency services across. During the plane crash, Frank withheld Kim from running into her burning stables to rescue her horses. Frank and Jack's truce did not last long though. Frank and Kim soon reconciled and they remarried in 1994.
With his life back on track Frank stopped drinking and he and Kim enjoyed their remarriage. In September 1995, upon the death of Mr Holdgate, Frank wanted to evict the Dingles from Wishing Well Cottage, as the cottage was actually a barn conversion which had been let to them by Holdgate. This lead to riots and standoffs. Chris Tate even took the Dingles side. After Nellie Dingle threw slurry over Frank, in the end, Frank gave up and allowed the Dingles to stay at Wishing Well Cottage. However, in 1996, Kim would not remain loyal to Frank any more when Home Farm employee Dave Glover soon caught Kim's eye, and they began an affair. Frank hired a spy to watch over Kim and Dave, and eventually caught them in bed together, uttering the line "What do you call this Dave - overtime?". Kim later discovered she was pregnant and gave birth to baby James in September 1996. Frank paid Kim £1 million to name the baby as his, although Frank was eventually revealed to be James's biological father. At the same time, Frank romanced his much younger assistant Tina Dingle. Dave died on Boxing Day 1996 while rescuing Baby James from a fire. Frank persuaded Jack Sugden to sell Hawthorn Cottage to him to make way for his new quarry. Frank employed Butch and Marlon Dingle to help him with the plans. When one of Jack's protesters accidentally caused an explosion, Frank blamed Jack and said the offer would go down by £10'000 every week that Jack refused to sell. Jack's mother Annie told Jack it was best to sell as she was cash strapped and needed money. Jack then reluctantly sold to Frank.In 1997, Kim took her next plot against Frank by faking her own death, subsequently getting Frank wrongfully imprisoned for her murder. Frank was beaten up during his time in prison. After Frank was released from prison however, Kim shocked him by turning up on his doorstep on 22nd May 1997. Kim revealed that the woman who had in fact been killed was a double, and, after a heated argument, Frank suffered a massive heart attack. As Frank lay dying on the floor, Kim uttered the last words he ever heard, which were "You're a dinosaur Frank, and you know what happened to them". Frank then died the following day and the true circumstances of his death were never exposed.
On the day of his funeral, Zak Dingle wrote a song about him called "The Ballad of Frank Tate", which was less than complimentary. Jack Sugden was pleased when he heard that his arch-rival Frank had died and hoped he rotted in hell.
In January 1999, Kim attacked Chris with a bowling ball, then admitted to a dazed Chris that she left Frank to die of his heart attack almost 2 years earlier. Kim fled the village in a helicopter.
One of Frank's biggest secrets were revealed two years after his death when Tate Haulage employee Liam Hammond - who took Chris Tate hostage - revealed that he was Frank's illegitimate child and that he was the result of an affair between Frank and an unnamed woman. Liam said that Frank left his mother when she was pregnant with him, and that he grew up in poverty while Frank's subsequent children lived the life of luxury. Liam showed Chris some documents, which proved he was Frank's son. Chris then bonded with Liam, but Liam was shot and killed by Zoe when she was trying to "save" Chris. The photos of Frank with Liam's mother and other documents were destroyed so the police could not think Zoe killed Liam, and a verdict of lawful killing was reached. When Chris died in 2003, he was buried with Frank.
Frank was mentioned by Eric Pollard in October 2018 when Kim returned to the village but without James. Eric revealed to the villagers that back in 1997, there was a lot of speculation that Kim had caused Frank's death. When Jamie Tate returned to the village, his late dad Frank was mentioned occasionally. In February 2020, Kim mentioned to Pierce Harris how Frank died of a heart attack.
- Norman Bowler decided to leave in late 1996. He originally wanted some time off to take part in a play, and producer Mervyn Watson agreed to give him 4 months off, but Bowler decided to leave for good. Bowler said to The People in February 1997, "I hope they don't kill me off - I'd rather go quietly. But it's time to call it a day. Emmerdale has asked me to think about going back part-time but I don't think I'll do that." Unfortunately, Bowler's hopes were dashed when Frank was ultimately killed off in May 1997.
"Good grief! A farmer bang on time! Sorry if I made you jump, didn't hear you come in" - first line.
"You made one little mistake! "- to Kim Tate after Frank found out about her affair with Neil Kincaid.
"She has informed you that she has gone missing? It's not April the 1st, is it?"
"The feeling is completely mutual, "darling". - to Kim Tate after she tells him that she "despises him".
"Kim." - final line, to Zoe Tate.