Fred Gwynne

Fred Gwynne


7/10/1926, New York, New York, USA



Birth Name

Frederick Hubbard Gwynne



Also Known As

Frederick Gwynne
out of 10
User Rating
18 votes


Fred Gwynne was born on July 10, 1926 in New York City, New York and spent his childhood in Colorado, Florida and South Carolina due to his father's frequent travelling. After finishing high school and serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II, Gwynne attended Harvard University.…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Fred turned down the role of Mr. Hand in Fast Times at Ridgemont High because he objected to the sexual content of the movie's script.

    • Fred's most notable character, Herman Munster, was named number 90 in "Bravo's 100 Greatest TV Characters".

    • Though called Slim, Fred's character in On the Waterfront answers to the name Malden Sekulovich when called to testify in front of the crime commission. Malden Sekulovich was the real name of On the Waterfront co-star Karl Malden. Director Elia Kazan threw this bit into the film as an inside joke.

    • In 1972, Fred starred in an unsold pilot called The Bar about a bartender, played by Fred, who got involved with his patrons problems - usually not to their benefit. The pilot was recast and became a summer replacement series The Corner Bar starring Gabriel Dell.

    • Fred supplied the voice overs for the tv commercials for Hyundai in the early 1990's.

    • Fred narrated a videotape that was produced by a radical animal rights organization.

    • Fred made his movie debut, unbilled, as one of Johnny Friendly's gang of thugs who menace Marlon Brando in Elia Kazan's classic On the Waterfront (1954).

    • Fred was an accomplished sculptor, painter, and writer.

    • Fred also worked as a professional singer.

    • Fred was the father of five children.

    • Fred was married twice. First to Jean Foxie Reynard from 1952-1980, then to Deb Gwynne from 1981until his death on July 2, 1993.

    • In Fred's most popular post-Munsters role, that of "Judge Haller" in My Cousin Vinny (1992), one of the sight gags is that the good judge looms a full foot taller than his antagonist, Vinny as played by Joe Pesci.

    • Herman Munster, Fred's character on The Munsters (1964), was ranked #19 in TV Guide's list of the "50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time" in the June, 2004 issue.

    • By choice, Fred was never part of the Hollywood or Broadway social whirl, he lived a quiet life in suburban Bedford, New York, and, after his second marriage, in a renovated farmhouse in rural Taneytown, Maryland. Most who knew him described him as a good friend and neighbor who liked to keep his personal and professional lives seperate.

    • Between 1975 and 1982, Fred appeared in 79 episodes of The CBS Radio Mystery Theater.

    • Fred was apart of Harvard University's class of 1951.

    • Fred performed in Harvard's famous drag troupe Hasty Pudding Theatricals from 1949-51.

    • Fred served in the U.S. Navy as a radioman during World War II.

    • Fred made his first stage appearance at Groton with the student production of Shakespeare's Henry V.

    • Fred attended Groton, a very exclusive prep school.

    • Fred was born in to a wealthy family, his father was a highly successful stockbroker.

    • Fred had a low-rated detective show pilot that aired (once) on NBC in 1988 or 1989, Jake's M.O..

    • Fred was 6'5" tall, but wore boots with 4" lifts on them when playing the part of "Herman Munster."

  • Quotes

    • Joe Pesci (on the late Fred Gwynne): It takes somebody who's very serious to pull off a character like 'Herman Munster.' It's not simple to play the goof. Fred was not Herman. He was an intelligent, quiet gentleman.

    • Fred Gwynne: (On his most famous role, 1979) Funny thing, yesterday morning I found my youngest son and daughter watching the rerun of an old [Munsters] episode and I said, 'My God, THAT'S not still on, is it?' Well, even so, I was very lucky and it was great fun to be as much of a household product as something like Rinso. I almost wish I could do it all over again.

  • A lovely, cultured, man!

    Fred Gwynne will always be remembered as Herman Munster, the big, lovable, Frankensteinish, goof from the 1960's Horror sitcom series, The "Munsters". However, Mr.Gwynne had in common with another famous face on the Horror scene, Vincent Price, the fact that both men were very cultured, and the complete anthesis of the characters they played on screen. Gwynne, along, with Price had the misfortune of being typecast, while being capable of so very much more. Gwynne was also in the sitcom"Car 54, Where Are You?" and appeared in the Stephen King film "Pet Cemetary". Fred Gwynne died of cancer not long after completing the king film.moreless