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Encyclopedia > William Frawley
William Frawley
William Frawley
Born February 26, 1887
Burlington, Iowa
Died March 3, 1966
Los Angeles, California

William Clement Frawley (February 26, 1887March 3, 1966) began in vaudeville and as a screen actor, with well over a hundred films to his credit, but gained greater fame as Fred Mertz on I Love Lucy. Image File history File links Frawley_william. ... February 26 is the 57th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1887 (MDCCCLXXXVII) is a common year starting on Saturday (click on link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a common year starting on Monday of the Julian calendar. ... U.S. 34 over the Mississippi River in Burlington. ... March 3 is the 62nd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (63rd in leap years). ... 1966 (MCMLXVI) was a common year starting on Saturday (the link is to a full 1966 calendar). ... Nickname: City of Angels Location within Los Angeles County in the state of California Coordinates: State California County Los Angeles County Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Area    - City 1,290. ... February 26 is the 57th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1887 (MDCCCLXXXVII) is a common year starting on Saturday (click on link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a common year starting on Monday of the Julian calendar. ... March 3 is the 62nd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (63rd in leap years). ... 1966 (MCMLXVI) was a common year starting on Saturday (the link is to a full 1966 calendar). ... I Love Lucy, a CBS television sitcom that aired in the 1950s, was the most popular American sitcom of its generation and is still considered by viewers and experts alike to be one of the greatest television series of all time. ...

Possessed of a fine singing voice in his younger days, it was supposedly Frawley, not Al Jolson, who introduced the song "My Mammy" to vaudeville audiences. He was also an early and persistent exponent of the hit song "Carolina in the Morning". His film credits include Miracle on 34th Street (1947), in which he portrayed "Charlie", the judge's campaign manager, and B-movies like Treat 'Em Rough (1942) with Eddie Albert and Peggy Moran. Asa Al Jolson Yoelson (born in Seredžius, Lithuania on May 26, 1885 or 1886, and died in San Francisco, California on October 23, 1950) was an acclaimed American singer and actor whose career lasted from 1911 until his death in 1950. ... Carolina in the Morning is a popular song with words by Gus Kahn and music by Walter Donaldson, first published in 1922 by Jerome H. Remick & Co. ... Miracle on 34th Street (also titled The Big Heart in the UK) is a 1947 film which tells the story of a gentle old man, working as a Santa Claus at Macys department store in New York City, who contends that he is the real deal. ... Treat Em Rough (1942) is a movie about a boxer called the Panama Kid (Eddie Albert) who returns to his hometown with his trainer Hotfoot (William Frawley, who later played Fred Mertz on I Love Lucy) and valet Snake Eyes (Mantan Moreland) when his father (Lloyd Corrigan) is accused of... Eddie Albert (April 22, 1906 – May 27, 2005) was a popular American stage, film, character actor, gardener and humanitarian activist, perhaps best known for starring as Oliver Douglas on the television show Green Acres. ... Peggy Moran (October 23, 1918--October 24, 2002) was a cinegenic American film actress who appeared in 36 movies between 1938 and 1943. ...

On I Love Lucy (1951), Frawley played Lucy and Ricky Ricardo's landlord Fred Mertz. He and Vivian Vance, who played his wife Ethel in the series, in real life despised each other. This was attributed to her vocal resentment of having to play wife to a man 25 years her senior, which she took as an insult. When he got wind of it, it offended him so he never forgave her. Vivian Vance (July 26, 1909 – August 17, 1979) was an Emmy award- winning American actress and singer, born in Cherryvale, Kansas as Vivian Roberta Jones. ...

The two co-stars were given the opportunity to move into their own "Fred and Ethel" spin-off once Lucy had run its course in 1959. Despite his animosity towards her, Frawley saw a lucrative opportunity and was game, but Ms. Vance nixed the idea, having no interest in ever working with Frawley again. He never forgave her for this, since the series could have made him extremely wealthy.

Frawley next hit it big on My Three Sons in his role as "Bub". The original premise for the series was for Frawley to be the show's star, overseeing three nieces, but the network decided to switch the kids to boys, then snapped up Disney's top movie star Fred MacMurray as the lead when he indicated interest after they offered him a preposterously shortened work schedule, relegating Frawley to another supporting role after all. Frawley reportedly never felt comfortable with the out-of-sequence filming method used on My Three Sons after doing I Love Lucy in sequence for years. Most television series are filmed out of sequence, but My Three Sons was unusually so, to an almost surreal degree: each season's episodes were arranged so that series star MacMurray could shoot all of his scenes during a single intensive two-week period; Frawley and the other actors worked around the absent MacMurray the rest of the year. It was a very different experience from the sequential filming schedule of ' 'I Love Lucy' '. Fred MacMurray (August 30, 1908 – November 5, 1991) was a Hollywood actor who appeared in over one hundred movies, during a career that lasted from the 1930s to the 1970s. ...

By almost all accounts, Frawley's off-screen personality was not that much different from his on-screen demeanor. A notorious misanthrope, with one brief failed marriage behind him and a fondness for the bottle, he lived in the same bachelor apartment most of his years in Hollywood. now. ...

According to Desi Arnaz's memoir A Book, Frawley eventually lost his driver's license due to drunk driving, and befriended a cabbie who drove him around regularly. Desi Arnaz (born Desiderio Alberto Arnaz y de Acha, III) (March 2, 1917 – December 2, 1986) was a Cuban-American musician, actor, comedian and television producer. ...

When deciding whether to hire Frawley for the role of Fred Mertz on I Love Lucy, Arnaz made it clear to him that, if he showed up drunk for work, he would "work around it" twice, but after that, Frawley would not only be fired from the program but blacklisted throughout the entertainment industry. Frawley, whom no one would hire at that point, readily agreed.

He never showed up drunk to work, and in fact, Arnaz became one of his few close friends.

Poor health forced Frawley's retirement. He was dropped from My Three Sons after the studio could no longer obtain insurance on him. He was angry about being let go, and developed a dislike of actor William Demarest, who replaced him, accusing him of stealing his job. (One of his final performances was an October 1965 guest appearance in Ball's subsequent series The Lucy Show.) William Demarest (February 27, 1892 – December 28, 1983) was an American character actor. ...

He collapsed of a heart attack on March 3, 1966, and died, aged 79. He had been walking along Hollywood Boulevard after seeing a movie. March 3 is the 62nd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (63rd in leap years). ... 1966 (MCMLXVI) was a common year starting on Saturday (the link is to a full 1966 calendar). ...

After he died, Arnaz took out a full-page ad in the trade papers, consisting of Frawley's picture, framed in black, and three words: "Buenas noches, amigo!" Vance's reaction was the polar opposite. She and her second husband were dining out when they heard the news, and reportedly, Vance shamelessly shouted, "Champagne for everybody!"

Frawley is buried in the San Fernando Mission Cemetery in Mission Hills, Los Angeles, California. The San Fernando Mission Cemetery is a Roman Catholic cemetery operated by the Los Angeles Archdiocese since 1800, and is located at 11160 Stranwood Avenue in the Mission Hills community of northern Los Angeles, California, near the Mission San Fernando Rey de España. ... See Mission Hills for other places of the same name. ...

See also

Haunted Hollywood is a term used for places that are believed by some to be haunted by ghosts in Hollywood, California. ...

External links

  Results from FactBites:
CBS (415 words)
Born on February 27, 1887 to Mary Ellen and Mike Frawley of Burlington, Iowa, William Frawley was the second of four children.
Frawley's movie career lasted over 50 years, during which he made a total of 111 films, the vast majority of them between 1933 and 1951.
Frawley was often noted for his acting abilities, but he never seemed to land the big role which would catapult him to stardom.
  More results at FactBites »



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