Arthur Franz

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Arthur Franz
Arthur Franz in The Unholy Wife trailer.jpg
From the film trailer for The Unholy Wife (1957)
Born (1920-02-29)February 29, 1920
Perth Amboy, New Jersey, U.S.
Died June 17, 2006(2006-06-17) (aged 86)
Henderson, Nevada, U.S.
Cause of death Emphysema
Years active 1948-1982
Anna Minot (m. 1945; div. 1946)

Adele Longmire (m. 1946; div. 1957)
Doreen Lang (m. 1964; d. 1999)
Sharon Keyser (m. 2006)

Children Gina Martenson
Melissa Franz
Michael Franz[1]

Arthur Sofield Franz (February 29, 1920 – June 17, 2006) was an American B-movie and television actor, whose most notable feature film role was as Lieutenant, Junior Grade, H. Paynter Jr. in The Caine Mutiny (1954).

Early life[edit]

Franz was born in Perth Amboy, New Jersey. His interest in acting developed while he was still a student in high school.[2]

Military service[edit]

During World War II, Franz served as a B-24 Liberator navigator in the United States Army Air Forces. He was shot down over Romania and incarcerated in a POW camp, from which he later escaped.


Franz's Broadway credits include Command Decision (1947), The Moon Vine (1942), Little Darling (1942), and Hope for a Harvest (1941).[3]


Franz made his screen debut in Jungle Patrol (1948).[4] He appeared in Roseanna McCoy (1949), Eight Iron Men (1952), Invaders From Mars (1953), Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man (1951), and The Unholy Wife (1957), among many others. In The Sniper (1952), he played a rare lead in the film's title role as a tormented killer; earlier, he co-starred with John Wayne in the World War II film Sands of Iwo Jima (1949) and with Ronald Reagan in Hellcats of the Navy (1957).[5]

Franz's last role was in 1982 film That Championship Season.[4]


Franz portrayed automobile magnate Henry Ford in the 1955 television film, A Story About Henry Ford, with Karen Sharpe as Ford's wife, Clara Bryant Ford.

Franz was also a familiar face on American television series; he made five guest appearances on Perry Mason, twice playing the defendant and one time the murderer. In 1958 he played the title role of Danny Harrison in "The Case of the Married Moonlighter," and in 1959 he played Richard Vanaman in "The Case of the Golden Fraud." In 1962 he played murderer Mr. Evans in "The Case of the Captain's Coin." He appeared on dozens of other series, including Schlitz Playhouse, Crossroads, Science Fiction Theatre, Ripcord, Primus, The Alaskans, Mr. Novak, The F.B.I., The Mod Squad, Hawaii Five-O, Rich Man, Poor Man Book II, Custer, Mission: Impossible, Mannix, The Rookies, Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law, Storefront Lawyers, The Six Million Dollar Man, The Invaders, The Waltons, Room 222, The Virginian, Gunsmoke, Rawhide, Police Story, Medical Story, The Outcasts, McCloud, Lancer and Barnaby Jones.

Franz played the role of U. S. president James Madison in the 1965 episode "George Mason" of the NBC documentary series Profiles in Courage. William Bakewell played George Wythe, and Laurence Naismith played the title role of George Mason.[6]

Franz portrayed U. S. representative Charles A. Halleck of Indiana in the 1974 made-for-television film The Missiles of October, based on the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Personal life[edit]

Franz's third wife, Doreen Lang, died in 1999. He had previously been divorced twice.[1] He married his fourth wife, Sharon, on February 14, 2006.[5]


Franz died in Oxnard, California, at the age of 86 from emphysema and heart disease. He was survived by his wife, two daughters, a son, and two grandchildren.[5]

Selected filmography[edit]


  1. ^ a b Thurber, Jon (June 19, 2006). "Arthur Franz, 86; He Played the Friendly Guy in Movies and on TV". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 18 March 2017. Retrieved 18 March 2017. 
  2. ^ Raw, Laurence (2012). Character Actors in Horror and Science Fiction Films, 1930-1960. McFarland. pp. 82–84. ISBN 9780786490493. Retrieved 17 March 2017. 
  3. ^ "("Arthur Franz" search results)". Playbill Vault. Playbill. Archived from the original on 18 March 2018. Retrieved 18 March 2017. 
  4. ^ a b Bergan, Ronald (August 29, 2006). "Arthur Franz". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 18 March 2017. Retrieved 18 March 2017. 
  5. ^ a b c "Arthur Franz, Film and Television Actor, 86, Is Dead". The New York Times. Associated Press. June 21, 2006. Archived from the original on 18 March 2017. Retrieved 18 March 2017. 
  6. ^ ""George Mason" in Profiles in Courage, May 2, 1965". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved March 16, 2013. 

External links[edit]