Frank Faylen

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Frank Faylen
Faylen in trailer for Hangman's Knot (1952)
Born Frank Ruf
(1905-12-08)December 8, 1905
St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
Died August 2, 1985(1985-08-02) (aged 79)
Burbank, California, U.S.
Resting place San Fernando Mission Cemetery, Mission Hills, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1936–1978
Spouse(s) Carol Hughes (1936-1985; his death)
Children Carol Faylen
Catherine "Kay" Faylen

Frank Faylen (December 8, 1905 – August 2, 1985) was an American film and television actor.


Born Frank Ruf in St. Louis, Missouri, he began his acting career as an infant appearing with his vaudeville performing parents on stage. The family lived on a showboat.[1]

After traveling with his showbiz parents through his childhood, Faylen became a stage actor at 18, and eventually began working in films in the 1930s. He began playing a number of unmemorable bit parts for Warner Brothers, then freelanced for other studios in gradually larger character roles.[citation needed] He appeared as Walt Disney's musical conductor in The Reluctant Dragon, and as a stern railroad official in the Laurel and Hardy comedy A-Haunting We Will Go. Faylen and Laurel & Hardy supporting player Charlie Hall were teamed briefly by Monogram Pictures.[citation needed]

Faylen's breakthrough came in 1945, where he was cast as Bim, the cynical male nurse at Bellevue's alcoholic ward in The Lost Weekend. In the following year he played Ernie Bishop, the friendly taxi driver in Frank Capra's 1946 film It's a Wonderful Life. Faylen's career also stretched to television, playing long-suffering grocer Herbert T. Gillis on the 1950s-60s television sitcom The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis. In 1968, he had a small part in the Barbra Streisand film Funny Girl. Faylen appeared in almost 200 films.[citation needed]

He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, but not on the St. Louis Walk of Fame.

Personal life[edit]

Faylen was married to Carol Hughes, an actress. He died from pneumonia in 1985. He was interred in the San Fernando Mission Cemetery in Mission Hills, Los Angeles, California. His two daughters, Catherine and Carol, are retired actresses.[1] Catherine "Kay" Faylen was Regis Philbin's first wife.[citation needed]

Partial filmography[edit]


  1. ^ a b Frank Faylen Dies; Noted for Film, TV Roles,; accessed June 9, 2016.

External links[edit]