Sunday, August 2, 2015

Tribute to Frank Faylen

Frank Faylen says and does some of the more entertaining things in It's a Wonderful Life. It is he who has the wonderful line, "how would you like to...." which gets cut off and allows our imaginations to run wild. He also gives Bert the Cop a kiss at the honeymoon, which earns him a little chastisement.

He was born Dec. 8, 1905, in St. Louis, MO as Francis Charles Ruf.

Through the years, Faylen racked up 219 acting credits, beginning in 1935 in a short titled Double Exposure. His final performance was on an episode of the TV series Quincy M.E.

His credits include such classics as:
  • The Many Lives of Dobie Gillis (1959), as Dobie's father, Herbert
  • Gone With the Wind (1939)
  • The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
  • The Lost Weekend (1945)
  • Road to Rio (1947)
  • Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957)
He also appeared in many military/war films, but he may be best known as a taxi driver. A quick survey of Internet Movie Database credits Faylen with portraying "Taxi Driver" in the following films:
  • Four's a Crowd (1938)
  • Saturday's Children (1940)
  • No Time for Comedy (1940)
  • Footsteps in the Dark (1941)
  • The Palm Beach Story (1942)
  • Andy Hardy's Blonde Trouble (1944)
  • The Well-Groomed Bride (1946)
  • It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
He is credited as "Driver in Cafe" in They Drive By Night (1940), and even appeared in an unknown role (unknown to me, that is) in a film titled Taxi, Mister (1943).

I'm sure there are more instances in which he portrayed a taxi driver, but they are listed as named characters, not as "taxi driver" on Internet Movie Database.

I almost listed another film in which he played an ambulance driver. It's practically the same thing as a taxi driver. But I decided against it.

Faylen died 30 years ago today, Aug. 2, 1985, in Burbank, CA. He is buried in an unmarked grave at San Fernando Mission Cemetery in Mission Hill, CA.
Frank Faylen's star on the Walk of Fame, 
on the North side of the 6200 block 
of Hollywood Boulevard.

He would be 109 if he was alive today.


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