Image of William Frawley

William Frawley

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.

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Feb 26, 1887 In Burlington, Iowa, USA
Movie/TV Credits:
First Appeared:
In the movie Should Husbands Be Watched? 1925-03-14
Latest Project:
Movie I Love Lucy Christmas Special 2016-12-02
Known For
Poster of The Lucy Show
Poster of My Three Sons
Poster of Monsieur Verdoux
Poster of Lake Placid Serenade
Movie I Love Lucy Christmas Special Unknown 2016-12-02
Movie Safe at Home! Bill Turner 1962-04-13
Series The Lucy Show Unknown 1962-10-01
Series My Three Sons Bub O'Casey 1960-09-29
Series Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse Unknown 1958-10-06
Series The Lucy–Desi Comedy Hour Fred Mertz 1957-11-06
Movie Lucy's Really Lost Moments Fred Mertz 1956-01-01
Movie I Love Lucy: The Movie Fred Mertz 1953-01-01
Series Letter to Loretta Unknown 1953-09-20
Movie Rancho Notorious Baldy Gunder 1952-03-01
Series This Is Your Life Unknown 1952-10-01
Movie The Lemon Drop Kid Gloomy Willie 1951-04-02
Movie Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man Det. Roberts 1951-04-12
Series I Love Lucy Fred Mertz 1951-10-15
Movie Rhubarb Len Sickles 1951-08-29
Movie Blondie's Hero Marty Greer 1950-03-09
Movie Kill The Umpire Jimmy O'Brien 1950-04-27
Movie Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye Byers 1950-08-19
Movie Pretty Baby Corcoran 1950-09-16
Movie Home in San Antone O'Fleery 1949-04-14
Movie Chicken Every Sunday George Kirby 1949-01-18
Movie The Lone Wolf and His Lady Inspector Crane 1949-08-11
Movie East Side, West Side Bill the Bartender 1949-12-22
Movie Red Light Hotel Night Clerk 1949-09-30
Movie The Lady Takes a Sailor Oliver Harker 1949-12-16
Movie Good Sam Tom 1948-09-01
Movie Texas, Brooklyn & Heaven Agent 1948-07-16
Movie Joe Palooka in Winner Take All Knobby Walsh 1948-09-19
Movie The Girl from Manhattan Mr. Bernouti 1948-10-01
Movie The Babe Ruth Story Jack Dunn 1948-09-16
Movie I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now Jim Mason 1947-07-31
Movie Miracle on 34th Street Charlie Halloran 1947-06-11
Movie Mother Wore Tights Mr. Schneider 1947-08-20
Movie Monsieur Verdoux Jean La Salle 1947-09-26
Movie Blondie's Anniversary Sharkey the Loen Shark 1947-12-18
Movie Down to Earth Police Lieutenant 1947-08-21
Movie My Wild Irish Rose William Scanlon 1947-12-24
Movie Rendezvous with Annie General Trent 1946-07-22
Movie The Virginian Honey Wiggen 1946-05-05
Movie The Inner Circle Det. Lt. Webb 1946-08-07
Movie Crime Doctor's Man Hunt Police Inspector Harry B. Manning 1946-10-24
Movie Hitchhike to Happiness Unknown 1945-07-16
Movie Flame of Barbary Coast Wolf Wylie 1945-05-28
Movie Lady on a Train Desk Sgt. Brennan 1945-08-03
Movie Ziegfeld Follies Martin (segment A Sweepstakes Ticket) 1945-08-26
Movie The Fighting Seabees Eddie Powers 1944-01-27
Movie Going My Way Max Dolan - the Publisher (uncredited) 1944-05-15
Movie Lake Placid Serenade Jiggers 1944-12-23
Movie Larceny with Music Mike Simms 1943-09-10
Movie We've Never Been Licked Traveling Salesman 1943-07-29
Movie Whistling in Brooklyn Detective Ramsey 1943-12-01
Movie It Happened in Flatbush Sam Sloan 1942-05-28
Movie Treat 'Em Rough 'Hotfoot' 1942-01-30
Movie Roxie Hart O'Malley 1942-02-20
Movie Give Out, Sisters Harrison 1942-09-01
Movie Wildcat Oliver Westbrook 1942-09-03
Movie Gentleman Jim Billy Delaney 1942-11-14
Movie The Yankee Doodler Unknown 1942-11-08
Movie Moonlight in Havana Barney Crane 1942-10-16
Movie Six Lessons From Madame La Zonga Chauncey Beheegan 1941-01-17
Movie Footsteps in the Dark Det. 'Hoppy' Hopkins 1941-03-08
Movie Cracked Nuts James Mitchell 1941-07-02
Movie Blondie in Society Waldo Pincus 1941-07-17
Movie Gangs Of The City Bang 1941-10-30
Movie The Bride Came C.O.D. Sheriff McGee 1941-07-12
Movie Golden Gloves Emory Balzar 1940-08-02
Movie Those Were the Days! Prisoner 1940-07-14
Movie The Farmer's Daughter Scoop Trimble 1940-03-29
Movie Rhythm on the River Mr. Westlake 1940-08-28
Movie Opened by Mistake Matt Kingsley 1940-05-10
Movie Untamed Les Woodbury 1940-10-04
Movie One Night in the Tropics Roscoe 1940-11-15
Movie Dancing on a Dime Mac 1940-11-01
Movie Sandy Gets Her Man Police Chief J. A. O'Hara 1940-11-08
Movie The Quarterback Coach 1940-10-15
Movie Persons in Hiding Alec Inglis 1939-02-10
Movie St. Louis Blues Major Martingale 1939-02-03
Movie Ambush Inspector J.L. Weber 1939-01-20
Movie The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn The 'Duke' 1939-02-10
Movie Ex-Champ Mushy Harrington 1939-05-11
Movie Stop, Look and Love Joe Haller 1939-09-22
Movie Rose of Washington Square Harry Long 1939-05-05
Movie Night Work Bruiser Brown 1939-08-04
Movie Mad About Music Dusty Turner 1938-02-27
Movie Professor Beware Snoop Donlan 1938-07-29
Movie Sons of the Legion Uncle Willie Lee 1938-09-18
Movie Touchdown, Army Jack Heffernan 1938-08-04
Movie High, Wide and Handsome Mac 1937-07-21
Movie Double or Nothing John Pederson 1937-09-17
Movie Something to Sing About Hank Mayers 1937-09-30
Movie Blossoms On Broadway Francis X. Rush 1937-11-19
Movie Desire Mr. Gibson 1936-04-11
Movie Strike Me Pink Mr. Copple 1936-01-24
Movie The Princess Comes Across Benton 1936-05-22
Movie The General Died at Dawn Brighton 1936-11-17
Movie Rose Bowl 'Soapy' Moreland 1936-11-30
Movie Three Married Men Bill Mullins 1936-09-24
Movie Roberta Bartender (uncredited) 1935-03-07
Movie Car 99 Training Sgt. Barrel 1935-03-02
Movie Hold 'Em Yale Sunshine Joe 1935-04-27
Movie Harmony Lane Edwin P. 'Ed' Christy 1935-10-22
Movie Alibi Ike Cap 1935-06-15
Movie Ship Cafe Briney O'Brien 1935-11-09
Movie College Scandal Chief of Police Magoun 1935-06-21
Movie Bolero Mike DeBaere 1934-02-23
Movie Miss Fane's Baby Is Stolen Captain Murphy 1934-01-12
Movie The Witching Hour Jury Foreman 1934-04-26
Movie Shoot the Works Larry Hale 1934-07-18
Movie The Lemon Drop Kid William Dunhill aka The Professor 1934-09-27
Movie Here Is My Heart James Smith 1934-12-28
Movie Moonlight and Pretzels Mac 1933-08-01
Movie Should Husbands Be Watched? Beat Cop 1925-03-14