Frank Orth

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Frank Orth (February 21, 1880 - March 17, 1962) was an American actor born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. By 1897, he was performing in vaudeville with his wife, Ann Codee, in an act called "Codee and Orth". In 1909, he expanded into song writing, with songs such as "The Phone Bell Rang" and "Meet Me on the Boardwalk, Dearie".

His first contact with motion pictures was in 1928, when he was part of the first foreign-language shorts in sound produced by Warner Bros. He and his wife also appeared together in a series of two-reel comedies in the early 1930s. Orth's first major screen credit was in Prairie Thunder, a Dick Foran western, in 1937. From then on, he was often cast as bartenders, pharmacists, and grocery clerks, and always distinctly Irish.

He had a recurring role in the Dr. Kildare series of films and also in the Nancy Drew series as the befuddled Officer Tweedy. Among his better roles were the newspaper man Cary Grant telephones early in His Girl Friday, one of the quartet singing "Gary Owen" in They Died with Their Boots On (thereby giving Errol Flynn as Gen. Custer the idea of associating the tune with the 7th Cavalry), and as the little man carrying the sign reading "The End Is Near" throughout Colonel Effingham's Raid. However, Orth is probably best remembered for his portrayal of Inspector Faraday in the 1951-1953 television series Boston Blackie. A short, plump, round-faced man, often smoking a cigar, Orth as Faraday wore his own dark-rimmed spectacles, though rarely in feature films.

In 1959, Frank Orth retired from show business after throat surgery. His wife died in 1961 after more than sixty years of marriage. Orth lived for ten months without her and then died on St. Patrick’s Day (March 17), 1962. He is buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery - Hollywood Hills next to his wife.

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