William Frawley Overview:

Character actor, William Frawley, was born William Clement Frawley on Feb 26, 1887 in Burlington, IA. Frawley died at the age of 79 on Mar 3, 1966 in Hollywood, CA .

MINI BIO:

Lovable, cherubic, American character actor who vies with Allen Jenkins and Jesse White in the memory as cigar-chewing gangsters with tough exteriors and soft centres. Overcame an alcohol problem to become a TV star of the early fifties as the irascible Fred Mertz in I Love Lucy then, in the sixties, as Bub in another long-running TV series, My Three Sons. Died from a heart attack.

(Source: available at Amazon Quinlan's Film Character Actors: an Illustrated Directory).

HONORS and AWARDS:

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He was honored with one star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the category of Motion Pictures. In addition, Frawley was inducted into the TV Hall of Fame .

BlogHub Articles:

By Michele on Jul 22, 2016 From Timeless Hollywood

Most people know as Fred Mertz, the landlord to the Ricardo?s in the long running comedy show I Love Lucy.? However, long before television he got his start in Vaudville. For a time he performed a vaudeville act with his brother Paul.? In 1914 Frawley married Edna Louise Broedt and t... Read full article


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William Frawley Quotes:

Francis Monroe Warren II: [as Det. 'Hoppy' Hopkins tries unsuccessfully to break open a door] Try using your head.
Det. 'Hoppy' Hopkins: Right.
[almost head-butts the door]


Mike DeBaere: This coal mine is gonna be a nice, peaceful place when you're gone.


[last lines]
Det. Lt. Webb: [over the radio airwaves] Correction please. Until further notice, Action Incorporated is suspending action until a judge has time to take action on a little action of obstructing justice. This is Lt. Webb, now signing off.


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William Frawley on the
Hollywood Walk of Fame



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William Frawley Facts
In 1912, he was the first person to sing the classic, 'My Melancholy Baby.' He was appearing at the Mozart Cafe in Denver, Colorado. He happened to visit a pub on Curtis Street, where he knew the proprietor. Knowing Bill was looking for a new song for his act, the proprietor directed him to the pub's back room, where George Norton and Ernie Burnett were in the process of composing 'My Melancholy Baby.' He introduced the song that very night at the Mozart Cafe. In the audience that night was writer Damon Runyan, well-known for his drinking. After he introduced the song, Runyan, drunken and maudlin, called out 'Get Frawley to sing 'Melancholy Baby'!' repeatedly throughout the rest of the evening. Bill sang many encores. The comedy staple of a drunk requesting 'My Melancholy Baby' actually has a basis in fact!.

When he died in 1966, his gross estate totaled $92,446, and his assets were on track to grow after he died. He had a residual deal for "I Love Lucy" (1951), which was unique to performers of the day; he was to be paid in perpetuity. His estate and heirs were paid for decades for rerun revenues.

Both he and Vivian Vance had nothing but contempt for each other during the run of "I Love Lucy" (1951), which is probably what filtered into their TV characters and made them work so beautifully. The two 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 quite game, but Vance nixed the idea, having no interest in ever working with Frawley again. Vance got her own series, "Guestward Ho!" (1960), which failed, but went on to make sporadic appearances on Lucille Ball's sitcoms and in films throughout the 1960's. Frawley hit it big as Bub on "My Three Sons" (1960).

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Television Hall of Fame

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