Born: February 26, 1887 in Burlington, Iowa
Died: March 3, 1966 age 79 of a heart attack in Los Angeles
This is a post about a underrated man, and actor. The man was misunderstood and had a very cold demeanor. But we all know him, we all know someone like him. For me, he always reminded me of my grandpa. I don't know if it was the way he dressed on I Love Lucy, or the fact that he loved sports and seemed to know everything about baseball, and football. Do you love the Mertzes too? Here is his story...
With his brother Paul, William Frawley toured America and did well doing so. They were in Vaudeville and made people laugh and forget their troubles if just for a night. They made themselves a team in East St. Louis. Without their father and mother's blessings. William Frawley ended up meeting and marrying Edna. She too was a vaudevillian and together they became a well loved vaudeville couple. Little fact, she was a red head. He called her red. They ended up separating in 1921 but did finalize their divorce until December of 1927. Edna, never remarried, and ended her 100 years on this earth in New Port Richey, Florida. She died November 1, 1992.
While in school, William Frawley played baseball and football, and was a lifelong New York Yankees fan. He moved to Hollywood in 1933 and made his first sports movie nine years after entering Hollywood. The movie was Errol Flynn's Gentleman Jim. I always found it neat that I would be watching a random classic movie, and all of a sudden, William Frawley, one of my favorite people in my opinion, from the greatest show on earth, I Love Lucy. He was in 167 movies in his very long movie career. Pretty impressive that he was in so many movies after being told that he was unattractive and would never amount to anything in Hollywood. But remember that sometimes the most famous people were once shunned in their own specialties.
Often known for his drinking, he sobered up enough for I Love Lucy, and was always on point in the filming of the worlds most known and loved TV show.
Here is a list of William Frawley movies that I have seen him in and that you probably have too...
Roberta (1935) - a Astaire and Rogers movie.
One Night in the Tropics (1940) - Abbott and Costello Film.
Roxie Hart (1942) - Ginger Rogers movie.
Whistling in Brooklyn (1943) - Red Skelton Film.
Going My Way (1944) - Bing Crosby movie.
Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
East Side, West Side (1949) - Barbara Stanwyck movie.
Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man (1951)
and of course his most famous:
I Love Lucy (1951-1957)
My Three Sons (1960-1972) Frawley was in from 1960-1965