Franklyn Farnum

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Photoplay Magazine (1917)
The Winged Mystery (1917)

William Smith (June 5, 1878 - July 4, 1961), better known by his screen name, Franklyn Farnum, was an American character actor and Hollywood extra who appeared in 433 productions between the years 1916 and 1961.

Life and career[edit]

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1878, Farnum became a vaudeville actor at the age of 12 and was featured in a number of theatre and musical productions by the time he entered silent films near the age of 40. He appeared to be at his most comfortable in a saddle, his career dominated mostly by westerns. Some of his more famous films include the serial Vanishing Trails (1920) and the features The Clock (1917), The Firebrand (1922), The Drug Store Cowboy (1925), and The Gambling Fool (1925). He left films in 1925 but returned five years later at the advent of sound, only to find himself billed much further down the credits, if billed at all. However, he continued on in these obscure roles well into the 1950s.

One of his three wives was the ill-fated actress Alma Rubens, to whom he was briefly married in 1918. He had one daughter, Martha Lillian Smith, who was born in 1898.

Farnum appeared in seven Academy Award for Best Picture winners, more than any other actor in history: The Life of Emile Zola (1937), Going My Way (1944) (uncredited), The Lost Weekend (1945), Gentleman's Agreement (1947), All About Eve (1950), The Greatest Show on Earth (1952), and Around the World in Eighty Days (1956).

He died of cancer in Woodland Hills, California, in 1961 at the age of 83.

See also[edit]

List of actors who have appeared in multiple Best Picture Academy Award winners

Selected filmography[edit]

External links[edit]