About Frank Fritz and Danielle Colby’s Relationship

April 18, 2024
9 mins read

Both Danielle Colby and Frank Fritz entered the spotlight on 18 January 2010, when the first episode of the documentary reality TV series entitled “American Pickers” aired on the History Channel. Under the production of A&E Television Networks, and in collaboration with Cineflex Media, the TV show brings the globe’s audiences closer than ever before to experts of valuable antiques and collectibles in their quest for worthy possessions.

Specifically, the series follows Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz as they search across the United States for antique and vintage items. The goal of the show is to find interesting stories behind each item they purchase, and to re-sell the items through their respective businesses – Antique Archaeology and Frank Fritz Finds.

Along with Mike and Frank, Danielle Colby plays an integral role in the show, as she acts as Wolfe’s office manager and helps pick the most unique items possible in their day-to-day search. She runs Mike’s businesses in LeClaire, Iowa, and in Nashville, Tennessee as of more recent times. Due to her rather close bond with both of the show’s stars, more so with her boss Wolfe, Colby is often seen as an invaluable addition to the crew by most fans.

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The true dynamic between Colby, Wolfe and Fritz

Many have wondered how the profits are split between the two faces of the popular TV series, assuming that the purchased items are perhaps placed in a warehouse until being sold, at which point the earnings are shared equally between them. There was also the suspicion that they’re trying to out-earn each other, with profits being compared privately all the time.

All of this is false, though, according to a spokesperson of the History Channel who said that ‘They each run their own business, and they sell the items you see them purchasing on the show separately. Mike is the sole owner of Antique Archaeology. Frank sells them via his website.’

With this being the case, it’s easy to envision a pleasant and friendly environment between the two experts, but this would also be a flawed assumption. While Mike, Danielle and Frank started out on rather amicable terms, their relationship went through numerous strains during the 12 years over which the show’s been running, and a lot of the blame for that lays more on Fritz than his colleagues, if they themselves are to be believed.

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Fritz’s health issues and gradual recovery

Frank had spent eleven years starring in “American Pickers” to the point when he appeared in it for the last time in 2021. While it was initially believed that he was only briefly dropped from the show to undergo urgent back surgery, this was extinguished when fans realized that Fritz was out for good.

This happened in July of the same year, when Entertainment Weekly published exclusive information delving deeper into the events that took place away from the camera and without the media’s knowledge up to that point. It contained statements from both Mike Wolfe and History Channel’s inner circles, which finally removed an aura of doubt from what was really going on.

Regarding the situation, Wolfe said ‘I have known Frank for as long as I can remember, he’s been like a brother to me. The journey that Frank, Dani and I started back in 2009, like all of life, has come with its highs and lows, blessings and challenges, but it has also been the most rewarding.’ On its own, this statement stood as clear evidence that their co-operation ended on good terms.

To finish his point, Mike added ‘I will miss Frank, just like all of you, and I pray for the very best and all good things for him on the next part of his journey.’ What he really meant with the mention of a journey was anyone’s guess at the time, but there are indicators of the true significance of that statement.

As also revealed by The Sun in July 2022, Frank had been battling his addiction to alcohol for a number of years, while he also has Crohn’s disease, a condition that results in chronic inflammation of the bowel, often quite debilitating to anyone unfortunate enough to suffer from it.

Regarding Crohn’s disease, Frank said in 2021 that he has had the condition ‘for 36 years. America has been talking about Crohn’s since 1933, but we have not been able to figure out what brings on the inflammation of the digestive system.’ Indeed, with this being a fact, fans have begun to wonder what could be so incomprehensible about this seemingly basic illness that highly effective treatment still hasn’t been developed.

Speaking further on the illness, Fritz revealed that ‘There’s no cure, it’s like a dragon. Every day is a crap shoot. One day I could have a double chimichanga with hot sauce pouring out of it and have no problem. Another day I could have a piece of toast with some scrambled eggs and have a flare-up.’

With the unpredictability of the onset of Crohn’s disease symptoms, one is left living in fear and uncertainty every day. It looks like alcohol helped Fritz deal with the negative mindset produced by the condition, as he had been addicted to it for a number of years, revealing in another interview that he ultimately sought treatment for it, spending 77 days at The Abbey Center in Bettendorf, Iowa.

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It apparently worked, since in July 2021 he said ‘I went to rehab and I’ve been sober now for 11 months. I didn’t like drinking anymore. My mom was an alcoholic and she died five years ago and it was alcohol-related. My grandfather was an alcoholic and he died. That didn’t sit well with me.’ Although it was due to fear emerging straight from family-related tragedies, Fritz still made the right decision in the end, helping himself live a better life, and maybe even return to “American Pickers” one day.

The treatment was rated as rather professional according to his words, since he stated ‘They gave me a lot of information and we were booked up for 13 or 14 hours a day. There was no sitting around watching TV or eating food. You were scheduled out for an hour, then an hour and half, all through the day.’

It was also rather helpful that the staff there gave each patient special attention, which was concluded from Fritz saying ‘They really give you a lot of one-on-one time. I read 12 self-help books while I was there. I didn’t f**k around. I really got into it. I went there to learn and get the most out of it that I possibly could.’

With his addiction fully under control, the TV star was ready to take care of the rest of his life, stating ‘I had a great time there, and I helped other people who were having problems too. It’s one of the best things that have happened to me.’ He continued attending counseling meetings regularly, simply to stay in touch and ensure he never goes back to the bottle.

Along the way, he took the time to assist others in getting rid of the same issue, saying ‘I sit back and listen, and if I get one thing out of one person, that’s enough. I have a couple of sponsors, and I’m sponsoring people too.’

It looks like he’s finally done with alcohol for good, as he explained ‘I don’t think I’ll ever have a drink again, because I don’t like the feeling anymore and some of the dumb things that I did.’ Fans were surely elated to read the news, but that won’t be quite enough to have their favorite return to the TV screen.

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Regardless, Fritz remains optimistic, saying ‘I’m feeling really good. Life is good and I’d like to get back into the swing of things. I wish I’d done it five years ago, I would have been a different person. It was the best thing for me and I wish I had done it sooner or I wouldn’t be in the position that I am right now.’

Of course, coming back to the show remains his priority, with the picker stating ‘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.’ However, there are a number of hurdles between him and the joy of being on the road across the country again.

One of the main causes of Frank’s alcoholism

There is still an air of uncertainty regarding Fritz’s long-term girlfriend and former fiancé Diann Bankson’s relationship with him. As for how it ultimately impacted his health, the TV star said ‘The main problem was this girlfriend I had, I thought I was getting married and I bought a brand new house. Then I found out that all the time while I was on the road, she had a boyfriend back here. It hurt my feelings, my self-esteem and my whole world. I gave it a good shot, I tried to drink her away. I never drank that much before.’

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One of the biggest reasons that Diann’s infidelity hit Frank as hard as it did is because they had previously planned an entire life together, causing him to believe that he had found the one, looking forward to the truly-ever-after. He explained ‘I was going to get married, I bought a house and a big expensive ring, and then I find out my fiancé had been dating somebody else for two and a half years.’

Still, in 2022, with no official ruling of the court and insufficient evidence, Bankson’s alleged adultery remains mostly unfounded. She also took to the media to give her side of the story as well, telling The Sun that she found Frank in bed with another woman only a year after their engagement in 2017.

She said ‘It’s not true what he’s saying. If he’s trying to make me look like the bad person of course I’m going to say it’s not true, because it’s not. The bottom line is that I know the truth and that’s all that matters. He’s playing the victim and it’s not true. I wasn’t cheating on him at all, I was waiting here every two weeks when he was on the road, waiting for him to get home.’

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It all ended up with both wanting to be apart for good, with Diann stating ‘I just want to move on because every time I think about it I get a little upset, I get hurt all over again, and I can’t keep doing this. I don’t care to have drama or chaos in my life, I’m just trying to heal right now. It’s been two years, I’m ready to move on.’

Danielle Colby’s true feelings towards Frank Fritz

On 2 August 2021, Danielle finally spoke out about how she felt towards Fritz, after months of complete silence in the media, even after everyone realized he wouldn’t be returning to the show. She posted a picture of her and Mike Wolfe with a rather lengthy description, detailing what her final conclusion and sentiment on the whole situation was.

She started out by reiterating that her friendship with Mike is stronger than ever, saying ‘Out on the road again with my best friend and my big brother who I support fully and stand behind. Thank you for the last decade of advocacy towards myself and others on set. I’m proud of how you have handled the last 12 years and look forward to many more years of rolling around this big blue marble together.’

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Then, regarding Frank, she continued with ‘I’m truly saddened for the loss of Frank on the show. I’m incredibly sad for his struggles. I have personally watched everything over the last decade. I have many thoughts but won’t speak them as they are only my thoughts, not gospel.’

Her conclusion eventually seemed positive, but the very next sentence in the text was ‘I wish things could have been different, but we must be accountable for our actions when we cause instability or pain and suffering to others.’ It’s anyone’s guess as to what she may have meant by this, but, with the whole backstory in mind, it becomes clear that Fritz’s drinking problem resulted in emotional and irresponsible behavior, which eventually cost him his presence in the show.

She elaborated further, adding ‘Frank caused so much pain for himself that it has been hard to watch. I truly hope Frank receives all the help he needs to become well after years of being unwell. It’s not my place to speak ill of someone who needs help, so I will keep my comments uplifting. I’m sending love to everyone.’ According to this part of the picture’s description, both Colby and Wolfe observed a massive piece of Fritz’s gradual deterioration, which isn’t a pleasant sight to anyone, especially in a high-pressure environment like a reality TV show.

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Danielle also gave the real reason for hre post, stating ‘The only reason I’m speaking to this right now is because everybody is speculating on my words, and my words are being taken out of context in tabloid rags because they can’t interview me because I will not interview with a tabloid rag.’

Finally, the co-star of “American Pickers” ended the explanation on a positive note, saying ‘So if you wanna know how I feel, here’s exactly how I feel. I hope everybody gets well. I hope everybody continues to love each other even through the hard shit.’ It looks like, in spite of everything that happened, she has never held a grudge against Fritz for anything that happened, but only meant well the whole time, and even suffered with him.

Martha Clifford

As an Author at Net Worth Post, I guide a dedicated team in the art of revealing the stories behind the world's most influential personalities. Fueled by a relentless curiosity and a knack for uncovering hidden stories, I immerse myself in the intricacies of our subjects' lives, weaving together accurate data and compelling narratives. My involvement spans the entire editorial process, from the seed of research to the final flourish of publication, ensuring that every article not only educates but also captivates and motivates our audience.

At Net Worth Post, we are committed to providing thorough investigations into the net worth and life achievements of innovators across diverse sectors such as technology, culture, and social entrepreneurship. My method merges meticulous research with eloquent storytelling, designed to bridge the gap between our readers and the remarkable individuals who redefine our tomorrow. Through spotlighting their journeys to success, the hurdles they've surmounted, and their contributions to society, we aim to give our readers a deep and inspiring insight into the luminaries who are paving the way for progress and ingenuity in the modern era.

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