Biography

William Frawley was born in Burlington, Iowa. As a boy he sang at St. Paul's Catholic Church and played at the Burlington Opera House. His first job was as a stenographer for the Union Pacific Railroad. He did vaudeville with his brother Paul, then joined pianist Franz Rath in an act they took to San Francisco in 1910. Four years later he formed a light comedy act with his new wife Edna Louise Broedt, "Frawley and Louise", touring the Orpheum and Keith circuits until they divorced in 1927. He next moved to Broadway and then, in 1932, to Hollywood with Paramount. By 1951, when he contacted Lucille Ball about a part in her TV show I Love Lucy (1951), he had performed in over 100 films. His Fred Mertz role lasted until the show ended in 1960, after which he did a five-year stint on My Three Sons (1960). Poor health forced his retirement. He collapsed of a heart attack on March 3, 1966, aged 79, walking along Hollywood Boulevard after seeing a movie. He is buried in San Fernando Mission Cemetery.

William Frawley was born in Burlington, Iowa. As a boy he sang at St. Paul's Catholic Church and played at the Burlington Opera House. His first job was as a stenographer for the Union Pacific Railroad. He did vaudeville with his brother Paul, then joined pianist Franz Rath in an act they took to San Francisco in 1910. Four years later he formed a light comedy act with his new wife Edna Louise Broedt, "Frawley and Louise", touring the Orpheum and Keith circuits until they divorced in 1927. He next moved to Broadway and then, in 1932, to Hollywood with Paramount. By 1951, when he contacted Lucille Ball about a part in her TV show I Love Lucy (1951), he had performed in over 100 films. His Fred Mertz role lasted until the show ended in 1960, after which he did a five-year stint on My Three Sons (1960). Poor health forced his retirement. He collapsed of a heart attack on March 3, 1966, aged 79, walking along Hollywood Boulevard after seeing a movie. He is buried in San Fernando Mission Cemetery.

Personal Info

Known For Acting

Gender Male

Known Credits 109

Birthday 1887-02-26

Day of Death 1966-03-03

Place of Birth Burlington, Iowa, USA

Official Site -

Also Known As

  • Bill Frawley

Acting TV ShowsMovies

1962 The Lucy Show (1 episode)
1962 Safe at Home! as Bill Turner
1960 My Three Sons (215 episodes) as Bub O'Casey
1958 Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse (6 episodes)
1957 The Lucy–Desi Comedy Hour (12 episodes) as Fred Mertz
1956 Lucy's Really Lost Moments as Fred Mertz
1953 Letter to Loretta (1 episode)
1953 I Love Lucy: The Movie as Fred Mertz
1952 This Is Your Life (1 episode)
1952 Rancho Notorious as Baldy Gunder
1951 I Love Lucy (180 episodes) as Fred Mertz
1951 Rhubarb as Len Sickles
1951 The Lemon Drop Kid as Gloomy Willie
1951 Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man as Det. Roberts
1950 Pretty Baby as Corcoran
1950 Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye as Byers
1950 Kill The Umpire as Jimmy O'Brien
1950 Blondie's Hero as Marty Greer
1949 East Side, West Side as Bill the Bartender
1949 The Lady Takes a Sailor as Oliver Harker
1949 Red Light as Hotel Night Clerk
1949 The Lone Wolf And His Lady as Inspector Crane
1949 Home in San Antone as O'Fleery
1949 Chicken Every Sunday as George Kirby
1948 Joe Palooka in Winner Take All as Knobby Walsh
1948 The Babe Ruth Story as Jack Dunn
1948 Good Sam as Tom
1948 Texas, Brooklyn & Heaven as Agent
1947 My Wild Irish Rose as William Scanlon
1947 Blondie's Anniversary as Sharkey the Loen Shark
1947 Miracle on 34th Street as Halloran
1947 Down to Earth as Police Lieutenant
1947 Mother Wore Tights as Mr. Schneider
1947 I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now as Jim Mason
1947 Monsieur Verdoux as Jean La Salle
1946 Crime Doctor's Man Hunt as Police Inspector Harry B. Manning
1946 The Inner Circle as Det. Lt. Webb
1946 Rendezvous with Annie as Gen. Trent
1946 The Virginian as Honey Wiggen
1945 Lady on a Train as Desk Sgt. Brennan
1945 Ziegfeld Follies as Martin ('A Sweepstakes Ticket')
1945 Hitchhike to Happiness
1945 Flame of Barbary Coast as Wolf Wylie
1944 Lake Placid Serenade as Jiggers
1944 Going My Way as Max Dolan - the Publisher (uncredited)
1944 The Fighting Seabees as Eddie Powers
1943 Whistling in Brooklyn as Detective Ramsey
1943 Larceny with Music as Mike Simms
1943 We've Never Been Licked as Traveling Salesman
1942 Gentleman Jim as Billy Delaney
1942 The Yankee Doodler
1942 Moonlight in Havana as Barney Crane
1942 Wildcat as Oliver Westbrook
1942 Give Out, Sisters as Harrison
1942 It Happened in Flatbush as Sam Sloan
1942 Roxie Hart as O'Malley
1942 Treat 'Em Rough as 'Hotfoot'
1941 Gangs Of The City as Bang
1941 Blondie in Society as Waldo Pincus
1941 The Bride Came C.O.D. as Sheriff McGee
1941 Cracked Nuts as James Mitchell
1941 Footsteps in the Dark as Det. 'Hoppy' Hopkins
1941 Six Lessons From Madame La Zonga as Chauncey Beheegan
1940 One Night in the Tropics as Roscoe
1940 Sandy Gets Her Man as Police Chief J. A. O'Hara
1940 Dancing on a Dime as Mac
1940 The Quarterback as Coach
1940 Untamed as Les Woodbury
1940 Rhythm on the River as Mr. Westlake
1940 Golden Gloves as Emory Balzar
1940 Those Were The Days! as Prisoner
1940 Opened by Mistake as Matt Kingsley
1940 The Farmer's Daughter as Scoop Trimble
1939 Stop, Look and Love as Joe Haller
1939 Night Work as Bruiser Brown
1939 Ex-Champ as Mushy Harrington
1939 Rose of Washington Square as Harry Long
1939 Persons in Hiding as Alec Inglis
1939 The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn as The 'Duke'
1939 St. Louis Blues as Major Martingale
1939 Ambush as Inspector J.L. Weber
1938 Sons of the Legion as Uncle Willie Lee
1938 Touchdown, Army as Jack Heffernan
1938 Professor Beware as Snoop Donlan
1938 Mad About Music as Dusty Turner
1937 Blossoms On Broadway as Francis X. Rush
1937 Something to Sing About as Hank Mayers
1937 Double Or Nothing as John Pederson
1937 High, Wide, and Handsome as Mac
1936 Rose Bowl as 'Soapy' Moreland
1936 Three Married Men as Bill Mullins
1936 The General Died at Dawn as Brighton
1936 The Princess Comes Across as Benton
1936 Desire as Mr. Gibson
1936 Strike Me Pink as Mr. Copple
1935 Harmony Lane as Edwin P. 'Ed' Christy
1935 College Scandal as Chief of Police Magoun
1935 Alibi Ike as Cap
1935 Hold 'Em Yale as Sunshine Joe
1935 Roberta as Bartender (uncredited)
1935 Car 99 as Training Sgt. Barrel
1934 Here Is My Heart as James Smith
1934 The Lemon Drop Kid as William Dunhill aka The Professor
1934 Shoot the Works as Larry Hale
1934 The Witching Hour as Jury Foreman
1934 Bolero as Mike DeBaere
1934 Miss Fane's Baby Is Stolen as Captain Murphy
1933 Moonlight and Pretzels as Mac
1925 Should Husbands Be Watched? as Beat Cop

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