Frank McGlynn Sr.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Frank McGlynn, Sr.)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Frank McGlynn Sr.
Frank McGlynn 2.jpg
McGlynn photo from The Moving Picture World (1913)
Born (1866-10-26)October 26, 1866
San Francisco, California, U.S.
Died May 18, 1951(1951-05-18) (aged 84)
Newburgh, New York, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1911–1947 (film)
Spouse(s) Rose (née Sheridan) McGlynn
Children Helen, Virginia Rose, Mary Rose, Rev. Thomas McGlynn, Frank Jr.[citation needed]

Frank McGlynn Sr. (October 26, 1866 – May 18, 1951) was an American stage and film actor who found success later in life playing Abraham Lincoln.

Early life[edit]

McGlynn was born in San Francisco[1] the eldest of two daughters and a son raised by Frank and Mary McGlynn. Census records indicate that McGlynn lost a younger brother (George b. 1869) sometime between 1870 and 1880.[2] His father was second generation Irish from New York who supported his family as a carpenter and later working in real estate. McGlynn’s mother was born in Australia of Irish parents who brought her to America at about the time of the California Gold Rush.[3]

Originally McGlynn studied to be a lawyer. He received his law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, and was admitted to the bar in 1894. By 1896, though, he was appearing on stage at the Casino Theatre, performing in The Gold Bug, a burlesque musical comedy written by Glen MacDonough with music from Victor Herbert.[4]


McGlynn as Lincoln in John Drinkwater's play (c. 1920)

Later that year McGlynn toured in a road production of Under the Red Robe, a story based on the Stanley Weyman novel that was adapted for the stage by Edward Everett Rose. Over the following two decades McGlynn played mostly supporting roles with stock companies and in early silent films.

McGlynn’s big break came in 1919, when at the age of fifty-three, the six-foot, four-inch actor was given the opportunity to play the lead in John Drinkwater’s play Abraham Lincoln.[5] The play had a run of 193 performances at the Cort Theatre in New York and played on the road for well over two years. In 1924, McGlynn appeared in a two-reel short film made by Lee DeForest and J. Searle Dawley in DeForest's Phonofilm sound-on-film process, in an excerpt of the play.[6]

McGlynn went on to play in seven Broadway plays; his last as Johnnie, in Frankie and Johnnie at the Theatre Republic in 1930.[7] McGlynn’s 1919 performance as Lincoln also rejuvenated his film career which lasted into the late 1940s.[8][1] He portrayed Lincoln in ten films and in one film an actor who plays Lincoln.


McGlynn died at the age of eighty-four on May 18, 1951, at his daughter’s residence in Newburgh, New York. He was survived by four daughters, Grace, Helen, Virginia, Mary Rose and a son, Rev. Thomas McGlynn. His wife, Rose (née Sheridan) McGlynn and son Frank Jr. (also an actor), preceded him in death.[1] He is interred in Glendale's Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery.

Selected filmography[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Frank McGlynn, 84, Lincoln on Stage", New York Times, May 19, 1951; pg 12
  2. ^ 1870-1880 US Census Records
  3. ^ 1900 US Census
  4. ^ "This Week's New Bills", New York Times, September 13, 1896; pg. 18
  5. ^ American Magazine: Volume 89, 1920, pg. 34
  6. ^ Lee de Forest and Phonofilm at Virtual Broadway website
  7. ^ Frank McGlynn
  8. ^ Frank McGlynn

External links[edit]