William Frawley

William Frawley

  • Born on
    • February 26th, 1887
  • Died on
    • March 3rd, 1966
William Frawley was born in Burlington, Iowa. As a boy he sang at St. Paul's Catholic Church and played at the Burlington Opera House. His first job was as a stenographer for the Union Pacific Railroad. He did vaudeville with his brother Paul, then joined pianist Franz Rath in an act they took to San Francisco in 1910. Four years later he formed a light comedy act with his new wife Edna Louise Broedt, "Frawley and Louise", touring the Orpheum and Keith circuits until they divorced in 1927. He next moved to Broadway and then, in 1932, to Hollywood with Paramount. By 1951, when he contacted Lucille Ball about a part in her TV show I Love Lucy (1951), he had performed in over 100 films. His Fred Mertz role lasted until the show ended in 1960, after which he did a five-year stint on My Three Sons (1960). Poor health forced his retirement. He collapsed of a heart attack on March 3, 1966, aged 79, walking along Hollywood Boulevard after seeing a movie. He is buried in San Fernando Mission Cemetery.

Starring William Frawley on Plex


Acting (36 Credits)

1957The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour as Fred Mertz
1952Rancho Notorious as Baldy Gunder
1951Rhubarb as Len Sickles
1951Bud Abbott and Lou Costello Meet the Invisible Man as Det. Roberts
1951The Lemon Drop Kid as Gloomy Willie
1951I Love Lucy as Fred Mertz
1950Kill the Umpire as Jimmy O'Brien
1950Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye as Byers
1949Red Light as Hotel Night Clerk
1949East Side, West Side as Bill the Bartender
1948The Babe Ruth Story as Jack Dunn
1948Good Sam as Tom
1947Miracle on 34th Street as Charlie Halloran
1947Mother Wore Tights as Mr. Schneider
1947Down to Earth as Police Lieutenant
1947Monsieur Verdoux as Jean La Salle
1946The Virginian as Honey Wiggen
1945Flame of Barbary Coast as Wolf Wylie
1945Lady on a Train as Desk Sgt. Brennan
1945Ziegfeld Follies as Martin (segment A Sweepstakes Ticket)
1944The Fighting Seabees as Eddie Powers
1944Going My Way as Max Dolan - the Publisher (uncredited)
1943Whistling in Brooklyn as Detective Ramsey
1942Gentleman Jim as Billy Delaney
1942Roxie Hart as O'Malley
1941The Bride Came C.O.D. as Sheriff McGee
1941Footsteps in the Dark as Det. 'Hoppy' Hopkins
1940One Night in the Tropics as Roscoe
1939Rose of Washington Square as Harry Long
1939The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn as The 'Duke'
1937Something to Sing About as Hank Mayers
1936Desire as Mr. Gibson
1936The Princess Comes Across as Benton
1936The General Died at Dawn as Brighton
1935Alibi Ike as Cap
1935Roberta as Bartender (uncredited)


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