The unexpected new findings of Chiswick-born Frank's life are included in the latest update to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (DNB), released on Thursday (May 28), among a collection of the lives of people who shaped the history of cinema.
According to a birth certificate discovered by film historian Robert Sharp, Frank - one of the original 36 founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences - was born in Binns Road, Chiswick, on February 3 1887.
Giving him a permanent place in movie history, the new research which has been published in Mr Sharp's dictionary entry discusses why there has never been information on the film director's year or place of birth and, in particular, why his ties with west London have never been unearthed until now.
The extract also reveals Frank's parents were both Londoners; his father an engine fitter who became licensee of the Hope and Anchor in Hammersmith.
Independent from an early age, Frank was orphaned in his early teens and after leaving school became a shop worker in Hammersmith, before embarking on an acting career which led him to emigrate to Canada and move on to Hollywood.
He won the Academy’s second Oscar for direction, for The Divine Lady (1929) - a drama about Lord Nelson and Lady Hamilton - and Mutiny on the Bounty (1935) was his most considerable success, winning an Oscar for best film.
He is also commemorated with a star on Hollywood Boulevard's Walk of Fame, and a plaque to his memory in the Waterfront Theatre, Greenock.
His life is a newly discovered addition to the nearly 250 historic figures connected with Chiswick and included in the dictionary.
The Oxford DNB online is freely available in public libraries across the UK.