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 .

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 .

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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:

Sheriff McGee: One of you's gonna get married and the other one's going to jail, so you really got a lot in common.


Mike DeBaere: [to the fan dancer] Did you ever think about doing that dance with one fan?


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]


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William Frawley on the
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William Frawley Facts
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).

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!.

Unable to secure his first choice, Gale Gordon for the role of "Fred Mertz," Desi Arnaz agreed to consider Frawley, who heavily lobbied for the part. Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball had invested everything they had for the pilot and were concerned about Frawley's alcoholism--- which was no secret around Hollywood--- Arnaz made it clear to him that, if he showed up drunk for work more than once, he would not only be fired from the program but blacklisted throughout the entertainment industry. Frawley, despite his lengthy film resume, was virtually unemployable by 1951--- thanks to a combination of his fondness for the bottle, and his disagreeable personality. He readily agreed to Arnaz's condition. He never showed up drunk on the set at all, and, in fact, Arnaz became one of his very few close friends. When Frawley died, Arnaz took out a full-page ad in the trade papers, consisting of Frawley's picture, edged in black, and three words: "Buenas noches, amigo!".

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Television Hall of Fame

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