Frank Faylen


Frank Faylen (born Charles Francis Ruf,[1] December 8, 1905 – August 2, 1985) was an American film and television actor. Largely a bit player and character actor, he occasionally played more fleshed-out supporting roles during his forty-two year acting career, during which he appeared in some 223 film and television productions, often without credit.

Frank Faylen
Frank Faylen in Nazty Nuisance.jpg
Faylen in That Nazty Nuisance (1943)
Frank Ruf

(1905-12-08)December 8, 1905
DiedAugust 2, 1985(1985-08-02) (aged 79)
Resting placeSan Fernando Mission Cemetery
Years active1936–1978
(m. 1928)


Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Faylen began his acting career as an infant appearing with his vaudeville-performing parents on stage. The family lived on a showboat,[2] and performed throughout his youth.

Frank Faylen and Jean Porter in That Nazty Nuisance (1943)

Faylen became a stage actor at 18 and eventually began working in films in the 1930s. He began playing a number of bit parts for Warner Bros., then freelanced for other studios in gradually larger character roles. 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 and Hardy supporting player Charlie Hall were teamed briefly by Monogram Pictures.

Faylen's breakthrough came in 1945, where he was cast as Bim, the cynical 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.[3] Faylen's career also stretched to television, where he appeared in a number of western series, such as Maverick and Zane Grey Theater, as well as playing series regular long-suffering grocer Herbert T. Gillis, the father of the title character on the 1950s-'60s television sitcom The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis.[4] He also played Bert Hollinger in the ABC comedy That Girl.[4]: 1065 

In 1968, he had a small part in the Barbra Streisand film Funny Girl. Faylen appeared in almost 200 films.

He has a star at 6201 Hollywood Boulevard in the Television section of the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It was dedicated on February 8, 1960.[5]

Personal lifeEdit

Faylen was married to Carol Hughes, an actress. Their two daughters, Catherine and Carol, are retired actresses.[2] Catherine "Kay" Faylen was Regis Philbin's first wife.

Faylen died from pneumonia in Burbank, California, in 1985. He was interred in the San Fernando Mission Cemetery in Mission Hills, Los Angeles, California.[6]

Selected filmographyEdit


  1. ^ Room, Adrian (2012). Dictionary of Pseudonyms: 13,000 Assumed Names and Their Origins, 5th ed. McFarland. p. 173. ISBN 9780786457632. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
  2. ^ a b Frank Faylen Dies; Noted for Film, TV Roles,; accessed June 9, 2016.
  3. ^ Gunden, Kenneth Von (1989). Flights of Fancy: The Great Fantasy Films. McFarland. p. 81. ISBN 9780786412143. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
  4. ^ a b Terrace, Vincent (2011). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010 (2nd ed.). Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. p. 267. ISBN 978-0-7864-6477-7.
  5. ^ "Frank Faylen". Hollywood Walk of Fame. Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. Archived from the original on June 13, 2018. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
  6. ^ Ellenberger, Allan R. (2001). Celebrities in Los Angeles Cemeteries: A Directory. McFarland. p. 196. ISBN 9780786450190. Retrieved June 13, 2018.

External linksEdit