William Frawley

Born Feb 26, 1887

William Clement Frawley was an American stage entertainer, screen and television actor. Although Frawley acted in over 100 films, he achieved his greatest fame playing landlord Fred Mertz for the situation comedy I Love Lucy.

related links

News + Updates

Browse recent news and stories about William Frawley.


Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of William Frawley.


1887 Birth Born on February 26, 1887.


1914 27 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1914, Frawley and his wife Edna Louise Broedt began performing a comedy act known as "Frawley and Louise"; they continued the act until their divorce in 1927.
1916 29 Years Old Frawley performed on Broadway multiple times and signed a contract with Paramount Studios in 1916 to play in silent films. … Read More


1925 38 Years Old Frawley began performing in Broadway theater. His first such show was the musical comedy, Merry, Merry, in 1925.


1932 45 Years Old Frawley made his first dramatic role in 1932, playing press agent Owen O’Malley in the original production of Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur's Twentieth Century.
1933 46 Years Old 1 More Event
He continued to be a dramatic actor at various locales until 1933. … Read More


1947 60 Years Old Finding much work as a character actor, he had roles in many different genres of films — comedies, dramas, musicals, westerns and romances. Frawley had a notable performance in the 1947 holiday favorite, Miracle on 34th Street, as Judge Harper's political adviser (who warns his client in great detail of the dire political consequences if he rules that there is not any Santa Claus). … Read More
1951 64 Years Old 1 More Event
By 1951, the 64-year-old Frawley had appeared in over 100 movies, but was starting to find film role offers becoming fewer. … Read More
1957 70 Years Old In 1957, at the end of I Love Lucy, Ball and Arnaz gave Frawley and Vance the opportunity to have their own "Fred and Ethel" spin-off series for Desilu Studios. … Read More
1960 73 Years Old Frawley next joined the cast of the ABC (later CBS) situation comedy My Three Sons, playing live-in grandfather/housekeeper Michael Francis "Bub" O'Casey beginning in 1960. … Read More
1965 78 Years Old 1 More Event
Frawley made two final on-screen appearances before his death. His appearance on the panel show I've Got a Secret on May 3, 1965, consisted of contestants guessing Frawley's "secret", which was that he was the first performer ever to sing "My Melancholy Baby" in 1912. … Read More
1966 79 Years Old 1 More Event
On March 3, 1966, Frawley collapsed of a heart attack while walking down Hollywood Boulevard after seeing the movie Inside Daisy Clover. … Read More
Original Authors of this text are noted on
Text is made available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.