During his acting career, William Frawley starred in several popular films. He also worked on several TV shows. He ranked among the most popular TV actors of the twentieth century.
William Frawley was born in Burlington, Iowa, United States, on February 26, 1887. He was the second of four children. He grew up and attended Catholic schools. He started his career as a stenographer for the Union Pacific Railroad in Omaha, Nebraska. He later moved to Chicago to work as a court reporter. He married fellow vaudevillian Edna Louise Bloedt in 1914. They separated in 1921. He divorced her later in 1927. In the early 1920s, Frawley performed with his brother Paul in vaudeville. He and Rath toured the Orpheum and Keith vaudeville circuits for four years. They also performed in local theater productions at the Burlington Opera House.
The two vaudevillians starred in a few films. They also appeared on Broadway. They had a successful act, “Frawley and Louise”. They described their act as a light comedy. They performed all over the United States. They later developed an act that they called “Frawley and Louise”. In 1959, they were given the chance to create a spin-off series for their act.
Frawley appeared on I Love Lucy. His character, Fred Mertz, was a favorite of Ethel Mertz. His character’s chemistry with Lucy and Ricky Ricardo III was ideal. Arnaz was happy to cast Frawley. But he was also worried about his temper. He wanted to have someone who was calm and professional. But in the end, he was a fan of Frawley’s talent.
In 1960, Frawley appeared in an ABC comedy, My Three Sons. He played Bub’s brother, but William Demarest replaced him in 1965. He also appeared in St. Louis Blues, Ziegfeld Follies and The Babe Ruth Story. William Frawley is also credited for introducing Al Jolson’s popular song “My Mammy” to the vaudeville audience.
When Frawley died in March 1966, he had a large family. He was survived by his wife, Louise, and many of his brothers and sisters. They lived in the same bachelor apartment for most of his Hollywood career. He was also survived by his mother, Mary E. Frawley, who discouraged her sons from becoming entertainers. William Frawley died at age 79, after a heart attack.
During his acting career, William Frawley had a drinking problem. He also had a reputation for being rude and cantankerous on the set. He would sometimes fall asleep while sweeping the floor. He fought with other actors. He once got fired from a production for punching an actor in the nose. He was credited with having a fine singing voice in the early days.
William Frawley died at the age of 79, on March 3, 1966. His family is said to have a large collection of his films and other memorabilia. William Frawley’s net worth was estimated at $10 million. His estimated net worth is based on various online sources.