Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
William Frawley (born February 26, 1887 in Burlington, Iowa - died March 3, 1966 in Hollywood, California) began as a screen actor, with well over a hundred films to his credit, but gained greater fame on the television shows I Love Lucy playing Lucy Ricardo's landlord Fred Mertz and on My Three Sons in his role as "Bubb". His films included Miracle on 34th Street, in which he portrayed "Charlie", the judge's campaign manager.
Interred at San Fernando Mission Cemetery, Mission Hills, California, USA.
Never felt comfortable with the out-of-sequence filming method used on "My Three Sons" after doing "I Love Lucy" in sequence for years.
Both he and Vivian Vance had nothing but contempt for each other during the run of "I Love Lucy", which is probably what filtered into their TV characters and made them work so beautifully. The two co-stars were given the opportunity to move into their own "Fred and Ethel" spin-off once "Lucy" had run its course in 1959. Despite his animosity towards her, Frawley saw a lucrative opportunity and was quite game, but Ms. Vance nixed the idea, having no interest in ever working with Frawley again. Vance got her own series "Guestward Ho!", which failed. Frawley hit it big as Bub on "My Three Sons".
Possessed of a fine singing voice in his younger days, it was supposedly Frawley, not Al Jolson, who introduced the song "My Mammy" to vaudeville audiences.
By almost all accounts, Frawley's off-screen personality was not all that much different from his on-screen one. A notorious misanthrope, with one brief failed marriage behind him and a fondness for the bottle, he lived in the same spare bachelor apartment for most of his years in Hollywood.
When hiring Frawley for the role of Fred Mertz on "I Love Lucy," Desi Arnaz made it clear to him that, if he showed up drunk for work more than once, he would not only be fired from the program but blacklisted throughout the entertainment industry. Frawley, whom no one would hire at that point because of a combination of his general disposition and fondness for the bottle, readily agreed. He never showed up drunk on the set at all, and, in fact, Arnaz became one of his very few close friends. When Frawley died, Arnaz took out a full-page ad in the trade papers, consisting of Frawley's picture, edged in black, and three words: "Buenos noches, amigo!"
Despite the fact that they played husband and wife on "I Love Lucy" (1951), Frawley and Vivian Vance disliked each other intensely. Part of it was the real life age difference between the two (Frawley was twenty-five years Vance's senior), but essentially, it was a clash of two driving, strong personalities. Vance and her second husband were dining out when they heard Frawley had died. Upon receiving the news, Vance reportedly shouted, "Champagne for everybody!"
Poor health forced his retirement. He collapsed of a heart attack on March 3, 1966, aged seventy-nine, walking along Hollywood Boulevard after seeing a movie. He is buried in San Fernando Mission Cemetary.
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details